In the role of Cassandra on the fate of the Russian economy was made by one of the leading universities of the country, taken aback by the news that the promised economic development meaningful economic growth – this is an outright phony, but in fact it’s worse. According to experts of the Higher school of Economics, our economic and financial performance is quite disappointing, and bravura statistical reports is an attempt “to wishful thinking”. “FederalPress” dealt with the facts and figures of the next issue of HSE “Comments on the state and business”.
Instead of the promised Ministry of economy of the HSE’s growth doomed predicts that observed last year bounce “from the bottom” will continue in the current year stagnation with a growth rate 7 times lower than the world. Instead of accelerating to 2.2% growth of the Russian economy will slow even three times and will amount to only 0.5% even under the condition that the price of oil, on which depends 60% of foreign exchange earnings of the country, will remain at last year levels. In support of this the HSE gives the figures: last fall, the pace of GDP growth slowed by half compared with the spring figures for January-September, the economy added only 1.6% against 3.1% in may. The experts also drew attention to the record in 8 years the collapse of industrial production in November (3.6%) and a decline in investment activity. The economy continues to live in the mode of a raw pipe, and the concentration of profits in the industries, producing and transporting mineral resources abroad, only intensified. So for January-September profits of mining companies grew by 20%, refineries – more than 60%. In turn, the net financial result of the manufacturing industry decreased by 11%, in manufacturing – 22%; profit of construction companies decreased threefold.
The population impoverished
The HSE drew attention to the compression of internal demand. Although the growth of wage Fund in large and medium-sized enterprises has increased over the year by 5%, but in the small business and informal employment, the picture is far more depressing – salaries increased only 3% in real terms declined. The authors noted that the income of the population decreased against growth of salaries and pensions, social inequality remains at the same level. In January-October 2017 increased real wages and pensions. But even such positive dynamics of the main components of household income led to growth in real disposable income declined by 1.3%. One of the reasons for the current situation, with a noticeable lag in the pace of income growth on the growth of wages and pensions could be the downfall of not related income. Decreasing the level of poverty which began with very modest economic growth is largely due to low growth of the subsistence minimum in the Russian Federation, including due to low inflation.
As a result, the lack of money in people transformirovalsya in a decrease in turnover and trade taxes (the fall amounted to 713 billion rubles, or 9% in the whole country). This, in turn, reduced resources for investment, without which economic growth is unthinkable. Here the HSE concludes that opportunities to invest in the development are only from a limited number of commodity companies. According to the authors, “the volume of investments in mining or in transportation and storage (if you take it together with electric power, gas and steam, water supply and waste disposal) is approximately two times higher than the investment in the entire manufacturing industry”. In this regard, the authors feel it appropriate to question about a possible new recession.
Reduction in the production of
The recession in the review called the record duration from the beginning of 1990-ies. And here are the numbers fall: retail turnover in 2017 was 13.1% lower than in the pre-crisis 2014; volume is 7.8% less than three years ago; the production of goods in factories and plants in the segment of processing was 0.5% less and meets the 2012 year. Domestic private demand was 10% less than in the last pre-crisis year corresponds to the level of 8-year-old.
A few advantages
One of the advantages of the last three years, the authors noted only mining (5.4 percent), the turnover of vehicles transporting the raw materials (7.3%) and agriculture (10.2 percent). Moreover, in their view, even this hydrocarbon doping is not capable to encourage the economy as the revenues from oil prices above $ 40 per barrel, the government sends in the reserve in the form of currency (2 trillion rubles in 2018). Other disadvantages of steel was the low labour productivity growth (1.6%) and lack of diversification in the “non-fuel exports, traditionally limited to metals, chemicals, grain and weapons.”
The problems of the banks
Experts drew attention to the collapse of the largest Russian private banks, as Opening, the Bank and PSB, who lost their licenses and customers in the past year. In their view, if “the fall” a Bank of this size it is still possible to explain particular causes, the readjustment by the Bank of Russia two of several systemically important credit institutions of systemic problems. That is, within the Russian banking system remain very serious imbalances that will likely lead to new cases of withdrawal of licenses and sanctions. The output here could be the development of private business and, consequently, the growth of the customer mass.
To clarify the situation with forecasts for the current year, “FederalPress” has addressed for comments to well-known economists.
Member of the Economic Council under the President of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry of Finance of Russia, member of the Advisory Council under the Chairman of the Bank of Russia, head of Center for fiscal analysis and forecasting at the Ministry of Finance of Russia Evsey Gurvich:
“In 2018 we have both internal and external risks problem. According to most forecasts, the average price of oil will be 55 dollars per barrel. It is close to what it was in 2017. But this is lower than the current price. This suggests that during the year the price of oil will decline, and, accordingly, it will make a negative contribution to growth next year.
The second risk factor is sanctions. Now “hanging” great uncertainty, which in itself carries risks for investors, but within a month can clear up the contents of a new package of sanctions. In the worst case it is not clear from those areas that have been marked accepted by the United States in August by the law, than it will be “filled”, but in the worst case, these sanctions can have a significant impact on the activities targeted by sanctions banks and companies.
If to speak about internal problems, first and foremost, they are linked with the banking system. The problems that emerged in some of the largest banks in 2017, reduced the overall credibility of the banking sector. They can be seen as a signal that some other banks have the same hidden issues that may this year out. They came from those banks and the companies of type “VIM-AVIA”, who pursued a policy based on optimistic expectations of a rapid recovery. But for other market players, it was a signal that we need to adjust their expectations towards less optimism. Stop the growth of the economy may already reflect the revision of expectations in the direction of greater pessimism.
From the positive sides it can be expected that the 2018 world Cup will increase demand for transport services and services of hotels, restaurants, etc. I think it can make a positive contribution to some economic recovery.
I believe that growth of 0.5 percent, which predicts a development Center in 2018, is a careful evaluation. And, although we have no reason for optimism, but I would have appreciated the economy to grow between 1 to 1.5 percent in 2018″.
First Deputy Chairman of the state Duma Committee on industry Vladimir Gutenev:
“The movement towards non-oil economy will continue. In a number of industries for the past year and the year before we saw major changes. This applies, in particular pharmaceuticals, civil aviation, civil shipbuilding, as well as in such important spheres as electronic-component base. It is very important that the state allocated funds for a policy of import substitution, as is the question of the technological independence and national security.
Other positive changes include the reduction of inflation and the cost of credit. The big plus is the stability of the ruble and an increase in international reserves. Very important and stability in the financial and banking sector. However, I would like to banking supervision worked more effectively warned of the problems, than fought with them.
Of the negative aspects, I would not ignore the possible negative impact that would arise in the event of another round of sanctions. Better able to neutralize the previous sanctions measures, the more excitement and even often to the detriment of own economic interests, our partners are working on new restrictive initiative. The year will be difficult, but on such indicators as the growth in consumer demand in some segments, for example, the purchase of cars, says that our economy is ready for a more serious increase than 1.5-2%. For this it is necessary to aggressively implement the activities that were planned and initiated by the Ministry of industry and trade.
Of course, we must understand that the fight against inflation, which was formed as the main task of the Central Bank, led to the contraction of the money supply and consumer demand to some extent negatively affected the development of our economy. Hope this was a temporary measure, to introduce inflation in the target frame 3%. But now there comes a time when you need to very clearly separate – is a borrowed capital on the speculative markets, or he goes in the real sector. Without access to our real sector as loans with comparable interest rates, which are our competitors, and is a 3, 4, 5% per annum, to talk about the advance of economic development will be problematic. It is therefore imperative to change the financial-credit policy. For example, there may be a policy of quantitative easing, which is very successfully implemented by the European Union and the United States.”
Former Deputy Minister of economy of Russia (1995-2000), Vice-mayor of Novosibirsk, economist Ivan Starikov:
“There is now a phenomenon, the essence of which is that the rebound of the economy, which we saw in the second half of 2016 first half of 2017 is over. The increase in domestic demand, which pushed the economic growth, has stalled. And all this against the background of a sharp rise in oil prices in the second half of 2017. This suggests that the Russian economy, which in the fat zero years, which is largely growing due to high oil prices, the engine stalled forever. That is, the high price of oil now will not affect economic growth in the country. For the reason that we have shows the surplus commodities, and everything else is totally unprofitable.
Look at the number of bankruptcies is 6.5 million! Accordingly, everything hangs on the thin thread of several mining companies – primarily oil and gas (and a little metallurgical).
Everything else is either totally unprofitable or on the verge of zero profitability. Well, because in the primary sector employs so many people, and a significant part of the works in others, including in the manufacturing industry, which demonstrates the decline. All this suggests that the funds, despite the increase in wages due to the oil and gas sector there, and the decline in real disposable income of the population continues (not as rapidly as it was in 2015-2016).
Therefore, those one and a half percent growth, which showed the Russian economy is the increase in “sick” from the point of view of prospects. Because economic growth leads to lower incomes and poverty, is not growth. Given the economic growth without increasing domestic demand, given the exhaustion of the resource model of no growth will be no more. In this sense, of 0.4-0.5, economic growth is very real.”
Authorized under the Russian President for human entrepreneurs, co-Chairman of the Russian public organization “Business Russia” Boris Titov:
“The fact that even the HSE – “smithy of Russian monetarism” – gives absolutely disappointing forecast for the coming year, says a lot. Today is, indeed, the threat is wishful thinking. Systemic problems have not gone away, they just papadelis due to the fact that oil has not collapsed, and is slowly growing. We need comprehensive solutions, we work very hard on them and brought in an extensive program of “growth Strategy”. Not to mention that the government is moving in this direction – just learned about the expansion of the program of preferential lending to SMEs, support to the demand by increasing social benefits. But it is disparate steps, the General trend they do not change, until, finally, removed the rose-colored glasses”.