Russia slides deeper into recession, prospects are 'grim'

Vladimir Putin in 90 Seconds
Vladimir Putin in 90 Seconds

It keeps getting worse for Russia.

The combination of Western sanctions and tumbling oil prices is pushing it deeper into recession. Russia's economy shrunk 4.6% in the second quarter, the biggest drop since the global financial crisis in 2009.

The ruble has plunged 22% against the dollar in the past three months. Inflation soared nearly 16% in July.

Russia is heavily dependent on its oil riches -- around half of its government revenue comes from oil and gas exports. Oil prices slumped from $107 a barrel last June to $44 right now, forcing Moscow to cut spending across the board.

"The economic prospects for the coming quarters look pretty grim too," Liza Ermolenko, emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note.

She said that while all parts of the Russian economy struggled in the second quarter, it was the deterioration in industry that hurt the most. Industrial production has been falling for five months.

Related: Russia is facing a fuel shortage

The country has been slapped with Western sanctions imposed over its involvement in the crisis in Ukraine. Russia's retaliatory embargo on Western imports of food and agricultural products have sent food prices soaring, and pushed three million Russians into poverty.

The IMF expects Russian GDP to shrink by 3.4% this year and by more than 1% in 2016, as falling real wages, the higher cost of borrowing and shattered confidence hit domestic demand.

russia ruble august 11

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