The following is Part 1 of a two-part examination of just how much Russia has or has not changed since Putin’s arrival to the presidency in 2000. Part 2 will look at domestic and foreign politics and therefore will be more qualitative in its analysis.
PART 1: Economic and Social Development Under Putin
Part 1 looks at Russian society and the economy and will rely mostly on quantitative comparisons of then and now.
The Economy: Non-Structural Change
Many of the more raw economic indicators, despite some of them being less significant in terms of reflecting on broad-based economic effectiveness, are impressive and cannot be negated entirely by the less impressive indicators. For example, Russia GDP reached an all time high of 2014.8 billion US dollars in December 2012 compared with 195.9 as of December 1999, averaging 741.3 billion US dollars from 1989 through 2012 US dollars). Per capita GDP was a mere $1,399 in current US dollars compared to $14,307 in 2012 (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD). As is apparent, GDP growth took off as of Putin’s arrival to power from a very low point, however, as a result of the very low starting point it began from given the 1998 default. In 1999 it rose to 6.4 percent and in 2000 to a peak of 10 percent. However, GDP growth has been declining for several years. By 2012 it had declined to 3.4 percent with an official Russian estimate of GDP growth for this year of 1.8 percent (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG). So Russia has made some good use of its commodity-export economy.
To access the full analysis, click Download GH__PutinYearsEconDec13