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Russia's federal budget deficit will amount to 8% of GDP, including
Russia's federal budget deficit will amount to 8% of GDP, including spending from the National Wealth Fund, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Wednesday.

The Finance Ministry divided the former Stabilization Fund into the Reserve Fund, designed to cushion the federal budget against a plunge in oil prices, and the National Wealth Fund, designed to help Russia carry out pension reforms, on February 1, 2008.

Russia's Reserve Fund stood at 4.9 trillion rubles ($137 billion) and the National Wealth Fund at 2.9 trillion rubles ($84 billion) as of February 1.

"A deficit of 8% of GDP is in our opinion the maximum deficit we can afford in our country," Kudrin said, adding that the government was planning to pump about 2.7 trillion rubles ($75 billion) into the economy, including money from the Reserve Fund.

Kudrin said the 2009 budget was being adjusted proceeding from a 2.2% decline in GDP, 13-14% inflation and the average yearly Urals blend oil price of $41 per barrel.

Russia's budget expenditure will exceed earlier approved levels by some 500 billion rubles ($13.9 billion) in 2009, with revenues 42% below forecast, Kudrin said.

"The federal budget revenues will drop in 2009 by 31.5% against 2008, and by 42% against earlier approved levels," he said, adding that the expenditure would exceed the levels set in the original budget by some 500 billion rubles.

Kudrin also said the Russia government was to cut the budget deficit to 3% of GDP in the next three years.


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