MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's economy shrank by a staggering 23.2 percent in the first three months of the year compared with the previous quarter, as the country's industry buckled under the pressures of the global economic crisis, government figures showed Friday.
Russia's economic output declined by 9.5 percent compared with a year earlier, the Federal State Statistics Service said Friday, confirming earlier government estimates.
Russia's deputy economy minister Andrei Klepach revealed this figure as an estimate last month and said the government would have to radically revise its yearly forecast. Officials had forecast that GDP would decline by only 2.2 percent this year.
Russia has experienced a stunning reversal to its eight-year economic and consumer boom, when growth averaged about 7 percent on the back of soaring oil prices. The economy started to nosedive last fall after the price of oil, its key export, collapsed, investors pulled billions of dollars out of the country and industrial output slowed.