Last year, Russia was the fastest developing nation among the Big Eight, outstripping the United States, Japan and Canada. Unemployment in Russia in 2012 hit its lowest ever.

The Russian economy grew by more 3.5%, compared to hardly over 2% in the United States, less than 2% in Japan, 1.5% in Canada and below 1% in Germany. Britain posted a zero growth, and the Italian and French economies slowed down. Alexander Galushka, President of the Business Russia organization, comments on Russia’s success:

"Last year’s growth owes to an increase in direct foreign investment and the appearance of major players on the Russian industrial market. Other reasons are the localization of production by major foreign concerns, and large trade volumes on the Russian car market and its high growth potential."

A 2.5% rise in industrial output last year ranks Russia second among the G8 after the United States (3.5%). As for the rest of the G8, only Canada saw industrial growth in 2012. The ongoing stagnation in Europe may seriously affect Russia. Economist Sergei Pyatenko thinks that in order to maintain its GDP growth lead Russia should look for partners in other parts of the globe:

"It’s all interrelated. If Europe continues to stagnate - and Europe remains our key partner - our task should then be to reorient our cooperation to fast-growing Asian tigers. The world’s center of economic gravity is shifting towards Asia and the Pacific."

Russia has the best unemployment record in the G8 – 5.7% against nearly 8% in Britain and the United States and 10% in Italy.