RUSSIA'S ECONOMY is on track for full year of growth. Inflation is slowing. The  central bank  has been replenishing its reserves of hard currency.

The country is finally emerging from a difficult recession and the timing seems to be just great.

Figures discussed not too long ago with government and  central bank officials showed strong consumer demand, which is a main driver of the growth.

Retail sales for the month increased  3 percent , compared with the figures a year before, according to the state statistics service.

The  Finance Ministry  projects the overall  economy will grow 2.1 percent for the year. That would be  Russia;s  first full year of economic growth since the  recession  began in 2014.

Other economic indicators have been trending in the same direction. Inflation is expected to be about 4 percent for 2017, low by recent Russian standards.

As recently as 2015, official figures showed consumer prices were rising more than 15 percent, and ordinary Russians were feeling the pinch.

The cost of Russian staple was rising: 

The price of bread, an important product because of its mythologized status in the Soviet period  as a symbol of well-being , increased about 11 percent a year during the recession, according to the state statistics agency.

But as the price of OIL, a major export commodity, has recovered from multiyear lows in 2014, Russia's central bank has resumed purchases of hard currency.

It has been replenishing the reserves it uses to maintain the long-term stability of the ruble.

''It's a broad recovery, and it will continue,'' said Vladimir Osakovsky, chief Russia economist at  Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

''There is a strong fundamental approach.''

The country certainly faces challenges, Mr. Osakovsky and other analysts say. It remains vulnerable to swings in the prices of oil and natural gas, for example.

The two commodities account for about 60 percent of export revenue and 50 percent of the federal government's tax base, and a sudden drop in prices could expose wider issues with the economy.


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