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Russian economy suffers worst year since global financial crisis

Russia's economy shrank 3.7% in 2015, the worst drop since the depths of the global financial crisis, as the country struggled with a drop in the price of its oil exports and international sanctions, the state statistics service said.

The decline is the sharpest for Russia since 2009, when the world economy was suffering from the effects of a credit crunch and financial crisis.

It matched the most recent prediction from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which forecasts another fall of 1% in 2016 before a return to 1% growth next year.

Last year also saw a 10% drop in retail sales - including a 15.3% plunge in December against a year before - and a one-third drop in foreign trade, the state statistics service said.

Oil and gas contribute around half of Russian state revenues and the government has said it will have to make cuts to the budget for 2016, which was adopted in October and based on an oil price of 50 dollars per barrel, which has since plunged further.

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