Russia's war-driven economy is so hot that the World Bank upgraded it to a 'high-income country'

submitted by MicroWave…

  • Russia's economy, boosted by military activity, is now classified as high-income by the World Bank.
  • Russia's GDP grew 3.6% in 2023, with trade and financial sectors rebounding.
  • The World Bank also upgraded Bulgaria and Palau, while the West Bank and Gaza were downgraded.

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Sure, you can create a lot of economic activity by building a lot of stuff and blowing it up, but in the end all you get is still a bunch of rubble. Pouring most of your economy into building rubble generally doesn't end well.


Russian tank -> Ukrainian scrap metal

Married Russian woman -> Widowed Lada owner


* a bunch of roubles

Bahalex , edited

Russian economy tanks, piles of roubles…


If it is rubble in other countries and you get to extract the ressources from under it, it might work out unfortunately.

Given how we still go full steam ahead into the climate catastrophe, wars will be back on the day to day schedule also in Europe. And each country has their own version of the MIC making big big bank with it, while the world burns.

Heck if you look at Germany, some of the worst nazi supporting companies became global conglomerates and the families behind them are more obscenely rich than ever before. So even turning your own country into rubble is a perfectly working strategy under capitalism.

realitista , edited

I have seen analysis of this on modern wars and essentially none in the 19th or 20th centuries have produced positive ROI's. It worked when power was so asymetrical that the great powers could easily conquer giant territories, but those days are long gone, as we can see in Ukraine.


Positive ROI for the country or for individual actors in the country? Because talking utility, wealth or wellbeing on a state level there is a lot of things, done terribly uneconomically. But the obscene wealth of the few is the detriment of the many.

realitista , edited

It's a good point. Someone profits I'm sure, even if it's negative for the country as a whole.


Ukraine's real gdp grew 5.3% in 2023, so they're beating Russia there, too.

RubberDuck , edited

These the guys that use the economic figures Russia puts out?

Russia does seem to have some savvy economic decision makers that are able to keep the ship balanced in the shit hurricane they are actively being steered into. I really wonder when they run out of cash to do that.

barsoap , edited

Soviet-trained planners, actually. The problem was always the system they had to work in and not their understanding or training. Imagine what they could do if they were allowed to a) not waste endless time on pointlessly micromanaging paper clip production and b) had an actual and proper mandate to get rid of corruption and clientelism. Which is ultimately what broke the USSR's neck, not the micromanaging that was just a ball and chain.


I don't know if they could do more. As a system that allows for such powers corrupts.


Oh I'm not advocating a planned economy though Russia's overall problems with corruption run deeper than any system.

What I'm saying is that if you'd put those planners in charge of France's dirigisme France would probably make a modest leap ahead.


Great, let’s help Russia with more sanctions for an even better GDP growth


Well, not sure an inflation, twice the size of the GDP is positive for a country...


"At Crazy Dmitry's Coffin Palace our numbers are through the roof!"

shame about the pigs eating their relatives. should'a called Crazy Dmitry.

Flying Squid

And no matter how many times this story is posted, the truth is still that they've reached their peak and they have nowhere to go but down.


Which was, however, said since the very beginning of the war.

Don't get me wrong, Russia is making a grave for itself rn, but I doubt it will suddenly shatter. There is potential for growth, though it will be hampered given the ways Russia currently manipulates its economy.


This is the best summary I could come up with:

The World Bank's upgrade confirms reports from Russia that suggest the growth is primarily driven by wartime activities that generate demand for military goods and services, making some sectors winners in Russia's wartime economy.

Russia's trade jumped by nearly 7% last year, while activities in the financial sector and construction grew by 6.6% and 3.6%, respectively.

Other than Russia, the World Bank also upgraded Bulgaria and Palau from upper-middle-income to high-income countries.

"While Ukraine's economy was significantly impaired by Russia's invasion, real growth in 2023 was driven by construction activity (24.6%), reflecting a sizable increase in investment spending (52.9%) supporting Ukraine's reconstruction effort in the wake of ongoing destruction," the World Bank added.

West Bank and Gaza became an upper-middle-income country in 2023, but its economy was significantly impacted by its war with Israel.

"The conflict in the Middle East began in October 2023, and while the impact on West Bank and Gaza was limited to the fourth quarter, its scale was nonetheless sufficient to lead to a 9.2% drop in nominal GDP," the World Bank economists wrote.

The original article contains 374 words, the summary contains 178 words. Saved 52%. I'm a bot and I'm open source!


Good bot

Great TL;DR