Russian federal budget deficit reached 4.3% of BDP during the first half of 2016, indicating that the figure for the full year will exceed the planned 3% of BDP, writes Reuters. Finance Minister Siluanov stated that the deficit will be higher than planned by 420 billion rubles (approximately USD 6.6 billion) and promised that the Reserve Fund will spend a maximum of 2.2 trillion rubles (USD 34.4 billion) by the end of the year to balance the budget. Privatization of Rosneft scheduled for this year should also help stabilize the budget, and other privatizations might follow as the Government considers selling stakes in Rostelekom, Transneft, Aeroflot, Sovkomflot and other companies.
The deficit overshot the target because of lower than expected oil prices – the Government hoped for the average of USD 50 per barrel. Finance Minister Siluanov also expressed his concern with the rate of the Reserve Fund depletion.