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Economy Stagnates in November

The Russian economy stagnated in November, data published on Wednesday showed, making it even more likely that the ruble's rapid collapse so far this month will push it into recession next year.

Investment by Russian companies, once a staple of the country's economic performance, fell sharper than expected last month, underlining pressure from Western sanctions imposed on Moscow for its role in the Ukraine crisis.

Retail sales rose in line with expectations, but at a 1.8 annual increase they were a fraction of what their rise had been in the post-2008 crisis when consumer demand fueled the economy.

The set of data, which also noted some increase in real wages, follows industrial production numbers, released on Monday, showing that industry output disappointed last month, falling by 0.4 percent, against analysts' expectations of a 1.1 percent rise.

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