RPT-STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Goldman Sachs cuts Russia GDP forecast
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Goldman Sachs downgrades its forecast for Russia's GDP growth this year to 1 percent from 3 percent previously, citing the tensions in Ukraine and an acceleration in capital outflows.
"Economic activity in Russia is likely to be strongly affected by the current political tensions relating to recent developments in Ukraine and Crimea," analysts at Goldman Sachs write in a note.
"The main transmission mechanism will, in our view, work through a shock to domestic confidence, resulting in lower investment, a continuation of the destocking cycle and higher capital outflows."
According to Goldman, capital outflows fleeing Russia so far this year have risen to close to $45 billion.
"Most of these flows, in our view, are driven by Russian capital outflows rather than lower foreign inflows."
Russia's RTS stock benchmark index hit a fresh four-and-a-half year low on Thursday, as investors showed increasing concern about potential sanctions levied by the West against Moscow. The index has tumbled 20 percent since mid-February.
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