Despite the recent slowdown, the underlying growth of the global economy remains solid. After a 4 percent growth in 2010, Russia's real output is expected to grow 4.4 percent in 2011, increasingly driven by domestic demand. Russia's households have absorbed the food price shock thanks to a combination of higher wages and pensions, and resort to private and public safety nets. The country emerged from the global recession with lower unemployment and poverty than feared. But global risks and uncertainties increased with the new oil shock. Although the short-term impact will be positive for Russia's export and fiscal revenues, there is no room for complacency. Macroeconomic policy should focus on the short-term objective of controlling inflation and medium-term fiscal adjustment towards long-term, sustainable level of non-oil fiscal deficit. Improving the efficiency of public expenditure to create fiscal space for productive infrastructure and strengthening the investment climate for the private sector remain among key long-term challenges. The ongoing rethinking of the government's long-term strategy and a period of high oil revenues provide an opportunity to focus on these long-term issues more forcefully than during the global crisis.
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