Russian retail-sales growth unexpectedly slows

Analysis

Russian consumer spending grew slower than economists estimated adding to evidence the economy of the world’s biggest energy exporter is decelerating. Retail sales grew 4.1% in April from a year earlier, down from 4.4% in March, the Federal Statistics Service said Friday in a statement. That missed the median estimate of 18 economists for a 4.5% increase. Unemployment fell for a third month to 5.6% from 5.7%, missing the 5.5% forecast in a separate poll. Gross domestic product expanded at the weakest pace in the first quarter since the economy began growing again at the start of 2010. Expansion in the first quarter was 1.6% from a year earlier, according to the statistics service, higher than the ministry’s forecast for a 1.1% advance. Consumer-price growth accelerated to 7.2% in April, more than a percentage point above the central bank’s target range.

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