Russia’s gross domestic product increased by 5.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, the national statistics agency announced on Friday, growth driven by the explosion in military orders to continue the assault on Ukraine. This marks an acceleration, after growth of 4.9% in the last quarter of 2023, an expansion boasted by Russia which believes it has defeated Western sanctions adopted in the wake of the assault on Ukraine in 2022.

Over the past two years, the war effort has actually become the engine of the Russian economy. In the first quarter, activity in Russia was also boosted by favorable prices on the hydrocarbon markets. Total state spending exploded by 20% year-on-year, according to the Russian Finance Ministry.

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The defense and security budget as a whole will amount to “around 8.7%” of GDP this year, Vladimir Putin revealed on Wednesday. On Friday, he again judged that such a level of spending was “not critical” and even “completely normal”. “It’s a great resource. We must use it with great care and efficiency,” he demanded, comparing the situation to the mid-1980s, when the USSR spent, according to him, 13% of its GDP in the military sector. . It is “extremely important” to integrate the economy of the “security bloc” into “the overall economy of the country,” Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. In 2023, Russian military spending represented 5.9% of GDP, an increase of 24% compared to 2022, according to the specialized institute Sipri.

A sign of the current favorable situation for the Russian economy, the IMF recently revised its growth forecasts upwards, now anticipating an increase in GDP of 3.2% in Russia over the whole year. 2024. But this increased dependence on the military-industrial complex has led to a downside, described as “overheating” by observers.