Russia’s economy grew year-on-year by 4.9 percent in the second quarter of 2023, the country’s statistics agency Rosstat said Friday, the first increase in a year.The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank on the same measure in the previous four quarters, finishing with a 1.9-percent drop in the first quarter of 2023.Friday’s improved figures for April to June came in comparison with the same period last year, when GDP fell by 4.5 percent.

Last year’s sharp contraction came as the economy was hit with a raft of sanctions from Western countries in response to the offensive in Ukraine.Despite the increase, the Russian economy was still smaller than it was before the start of the conflict in February 2022.Rosstat did not provide a breakdown by sector in its most recent release.The second quarter of 2023 has seen Russian inflation tick upwards, due in part to the weakness of the ruble.

On Friday, the currency was trading at 108 rubles to the euro and 99 rubles to the dollar.The economic struggles prompted the Russian central bank to raise its benchmark interest rate to 8.5 percent to try and buttress the ruble and suppress inflation.

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