On Wednesday, PM Dmitry Medvedev presented the government report on its 2018 performance to the State Duma (Parliament’s lower house).
As the government’s web page reported, he stressed that modern science is unthinkable without digital technology and noted that “last year, another 8K villages, each with 250 to 500 residents, were given access to communications services, including the internet. We have laid 60K kilometers of optical fiber lines. Internet businesses account for over 5% of the national GDP.”
Speaking about macroeconomic parameters, PM mentioned that “average mortgage interest rate was slightly over 9.5%, for the first time in the modern history of Russia. In 2018, 1.5 mio mortgage loans were provided, worth some RUR 3 tln ($47 bln), which is 50% higher than 2017. Investments have been growing at a very good pace (over 4%) for more than a year. A budget surplus – for the first time since 2011 – was observed. It exceeded 2.5%.”
“We have expanded our international reserves by almost $30 bln, also reducing external debts by over $60 bln. At the moment, unemployment does not exceed 5%,” PM said.