Even though some aspects of Russia’s markets, including related exchange traded fund (ETF), are looking good, the Russian government is still mulling over their plans on tackling their economy as a whole.

Oil prices are up but most of the oil revenues are sapped away by taxes, the Russian ruble is gaining strength on higher interest rates but this is hurting domestic businesses, and the Russian stock markets are up but it is attributed to speculative inflows, reports Gregory L. White for The Wall Street Journal.

There is pressure on the government to spend more so as to brace the economy, which contracted around 9.5% in the 1st quarter. April industrial production is reported to have dropped 17% year-over-year and unemployment climbed up to 10% in March.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin thinks it likely Russia will continue to experience low revenue and modest annual spending after a spectacular drop in high commodity prices and cheap credit. Other officials are urging for increases in spending to stimulate a sagging economy coupled with tax cuts for businesses.

Russian previously provided stimulus package of $50 billion but economists say it has not had much of an impact on the economy.

  • Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX): up 59.3% year-to-date


Max Chen contributed to this article.

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