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World Cup's impact on Russian economy

May 31, 2018

The 2018 World Cup will have little lasting impact on the Russian economy, US ratings agency Moody's has said in a report. Its assessment is in stark contrast to a recent survey by the Russian government.

St. Petersburg getting ready for World Cup
Image: picture-alliance/

Russia will host the world's biggest soccer tournament from June 14 to July 15 in 11 cities in the European part of the country, having spent billions of dollars on putting the right infrastructure in place.

Ratings agency Moody's warned Thursday that it saw "a very limited economic impact at the national level, given the limited duration of the World Cup and the very large size of Russia's economy."

"While the extra boost in tourism will benefit Russia's already healthy external accounts, the added support will likely be short-lived."

Moody's said the food, hotel, telecoms and transport industries would see a temporary boost in revenue, adding that Moscow airports would also benefit because "upgraded facilities will support higher passenger flows even after the event."

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The ratings agency's assessment in many parts is at variance with a survey by the Russian government last week. It said the World Cup's boost for the country's gross domestic product (GDP) would be between $26 billion (€22 billion) and $30.8 billion over the 10 years from 2013 through to 2023.

The figures were based on expected revenue from growing tourism, large-scale construction activities and later knock-on effects from a raft of government investments.

The survey said the total spend on the tournament would be $11 billion, not including some costly new infrastructure and stadiums that would have been built anyway. Around 220,000 jobs had been created, the report said.

hg/jd (Reuters, AP)