OREANDA-NEWS  The unexpectedly high official estimate of the Russian economy's growth — 2.3% in 2018 — did not lead to an increase in optimism among independent economists. The consensus forecast for GDP for 2019 is 1.3%, wrote Sergey Smirnov, Deputy Director of the Centre for development, in his review Comments on the state and business.

From 13 to 20 February, HSE's development Centre conducted another quarterly survey of forecasters, which was attended by 25 experts, including analysts from Alfa-Bank, BCS, the VneshEconomBank Institute, LUKOIL, Morgan Stanley, Nordea Bank, JPMorgan, etc.

The forecast for GDP growth in 2019 deteriorated by 0.1 percentage points compared to the consensus estimate of three months ago. Of the 23 forecasters who participated in both surveys, four experts reduced their estimates for the current year by 0.5 percentage points and more, six — by 0.1–0.4 percentage points, eight — left the estimates unchanged, and only five increased their forecasts for the current year (no more than 0.1 percentage points), the review says.

RosStat in early February unexpectedly reported GDP growth in 2018 by 2.3% (compared to 1.6% in the previous year), which was the maximum rate of economic growth since 2012. A key role in Rosstat's assessment was played by a large — scale upward revision of the dynamics of construction works-from 0.5 to 5.7% for the 11 months of 2018. But economists did not believe in the acceleration of the Russian economy.

The results of the survey of experts coincide with the official forecast of the government for 2019: the Ministry of Economic Development expects GDP growth of 1.3%. However, in 2020 the consensus forecast of economists is 1.8%, while the authorities predict 2%. Expert estimates for growth in 2021-2025 remain at 1.1-1.4 p. p. below the forecasts of the Ministry of economic development.

Russian indicators are far behind the global average economic growth. According to the IMF's January forecast, the world economy will grow by 3.5% in 2019. "The share of Russia in the world economy, according to the consensus forecast, will be gradually reduced in these years,"-said the author of the review.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the government is not satisfied with the quality of growth of the Russian economy due to the influence of one-time factors.