Russian economy shrinks 10.9%

MOSCOW: Russia's economy contracted 10.9 percent in the second quarter of 2009 from output in the same period last year, but increased 7.5 percent from output in the first quarter, initial data from the statistics office showed on Tuesday.

In the first quarter, gross domestic product (GDP) had fallen 9.8 percent on a 12-month basis.

The government is forecasting a contraction of up to 8.5 percent in GDP in 2009, in a dramatic end to the robust growth the country enjoyed over the last half decade on the back of high energy prices.

Russia has been hit harder than other major developing economies by the economic crisis which has shown up its failure to implement reform to reduce dependence on hydrocarbon exports.