Monday January 16 2017
Russian Trade Surplus Widens Unexpectedly In November
Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Russian trade surplus increased by 2.2 percent to $9.14 billion in November 2016 from $8.94 billion in the same month a year earlier, well above market expectations of a $7.6 billion surplus. Exports rose 4.9 percent, the first increase since July 2014; and imports went up 6.4 percent, the fourth consecutive month of growth.

Exports increased by 4.9 percent to an eleven-month high of $26.65 billion from $25.40 billion in November 2015. It was the first annual rise since July 2014, as exports to non-CIS countries advanced 6.4 percent (from -6.7 percent in October) while those to CIS countries fell 3 percent (from -12.3 percent). Imports went up 6.4 percent to $17.51 billion from $16.46 billion a year earlier, marking the fourth consecutive month of gains. Imports from non-CIS countries climbed 6.1 percent (from +8.7 percent in October) and those from CIS countries advanced by 9.3 percent (from +4.5 percent).

The trade surplus with non-CIS countries rose 7 percent to $7.26 billion from $6.79 billion a year ago while with CIS countries it fell 13.1 percent to $1.87 billion from $2.16 billion.

Considering the first eleven months of the year, the trade surplus shrank 42.7 percent to $78.59 billion from $137.21 billion in the same period of 2015, as exports fell 19.8 percent to $250.70 billion and imports declined at a much slower 1.9 percent to $172.11 billion.




Tuesday January 10 2017
Russia Inflation Rate Confirmed At 5.4% In December
Federal State Statistics Service | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Russia increased 5.4 percent year-on-year in December of 2016, following 5.8 percent rise in the previous month and in line with preliminary estimates. It was the lowest inflation rate since June 2012, as prices increased at a slower pace for food, housing and utilities, clothing and footwear and recreation and cultural activities. On a monthly basis, prices went up 0.4 percent, at the same pace as in November.

Prices rose at a slower pace for food (+4.2 percent from +5 percent in November); housing and utilities (+5.2 percent from +5.3 percent); clothing and footwear (+7.4 percent from +7.6 percent); recreation and culture (+4.1 percent from +6 percent); furnishings and household equipment (+5.3 percent from +5.6 percent); and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+8.6 percent from +8.7 percent). Meanwhile, transport inflation rate accelerated to 5.6 percent from 5.4 percent in November. 

Annual core inflation rate declined to 6.0 percent from 6.2 percent in November.

On a monthly basis, prices went up 0.4 percent. Main upward pressure came from: food (+0.7 percent); housing and utilities (+0.1 percent); transport (+0.5 percent); clothing (+0.4 percent); furnishings (+0.3 percent); restaurants and hotels (+0.3 percent); and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.4 percent). 




Friday December 30 2016
Russia Inflation Rate Lowest Since June 2012
Federal State Statistics Service | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Russia increased 5.4 percent year-on-year in December of 2016, following 5.8 percent rise in the previous month and below market expectations of 5.6 percent. It was the lowest inflation rate since June 2012, according to preliminary estimates. A year ago inflation was recorded at 12.9 percent.

Prices rose at a slower pace for food (+4.6 percent from +5.2 percent in November); non-food (+6.5 percent from +6.7 percent) and services (+4.9 percent from 5.3 percent).

On a monthly basis, prices went up 0.4 percent, at the same pace as in November.


Monday December 19 2016
Russia Jobless Rate Matches Expectations In November
Federal State Statistics Service | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Russian unemployment rate decreased to 5.4 percent in November of 2016 compared to 5.8 percent a year ago and in line with market expectations. In the previous month, the jobless rate was recorded at 5.4 percent.

The number of unemployed people decreased by 321 thousand to 4.114 million in November of 2016. Meanwhile, the number of economically active increased by 0.1 million to 76.7 million (52 percent of population).

Nominal wages rose 7.6 percent year-on-year to an average RUB 361105. Real pay went up 1.7 percent, following 0.4 percent growth in the previous month and below market expectations of 2 percent. Real disposable income decreased 5.6 percent, compared to 6 percent in October.




Friday December 16 2016
Russia Holds Key Rate at 10%
Central Bank of the Russian Federation | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

The Central Bank of Russia kept its benchmark one-week repo rate unchanged at 10 percent on December 16th and signaled the possibility of further cuts in the first half of 2017. Policymakers also said that the dynamics of inflation and economic activity were overall in line with the forecast and inflation risks have subsided somewhat. Consumer prices growth was slowing down in part under the influence of temporary factors, while deceleration in inflation expectations remains unsteady.

Information Notice of Bank of Russia:

Inflation dynamics. Annual inflation continues to decline in line with the Bank of Russia’s baseline forecast. However, this is partly due to temporary factors. According to estimates, as of 12 December 2016 annual price growth fell to 5.6% from 6.1% in October. Price growth has slowed down noticeably in all key groups of goods and services and monthly seasonally adjusted inflation indicators have declined as well. The ruble exchange rate dynamics continues to be conducive to inflation deceleration as oil prices have been higher than expected and Russian financial assets remain attractive to external investors. A good harvest still facilitates a reduction in food inflation. At the same time, a more confident drop in non-food price growth is necessary for sustainable inflation decline. Households prefer to stick to a savings behaviour model, however, the disinflationary impact of domestic demand is subsiding gradually. Annual growth in real wages may facilitate a gradual recovery of demand for goods and services. Moderately tight monetary conditions need to be maintained in order to encourage households to save and set the trend towards sustainable inflation reduction under the impact of the demand-side constraints. This will enable a further decline in inflation expectations of both households and businesses. According to the Bank of Russia forecast, given the decision made annual inflation will slow to the 4% target in late 2017.

Monetary conditions. Moderately tight monetary conditions are still conducive to inflation reduction. Positive real interest rates will be kept at the level which will ensure demand for loans without an intensification of inflationary pressure and will also preserve incentives for savings. The potential of interest rate reduction is limited in the near future.

Economic activity. The economy is progressing towards recovery in line with the Bank of Russia’s baseline forecast. The estimates show that quarter-on-quarter GDP was no longer in decline in Q3 and industrial production expanded in October—November. However, the rebound in economic activity is still heterogeneous among industries and regions. Import substitution is advancing together with certain non-commodity exports and new lines of industrial growth, including the high-tech development. Business activity in services is also on the rise. Positive trends will take time to evolve and take hold. By the end of 2016, the output of goods and services will decrease by 0.5-0.7% with a slight growth in quarterly GDP to be seen in Q4. We expect moderate economic growth of less than 1% in 2017 and an increase to 1.5-2% in 2018-2019. The labour market is adapting to the new economic conditions and unemployment remains persistently low. The forecast is based on conservative assumptions about sluggish global growth, year-average oil prices of $40 per barrel for the entire forecast horizon, moderate capital outflow and structural constraints in the Russian economy.

Inflation risks. Risks that inflation fails to achieve the 4% target in 2017 have subsided somewhat. These risks stem largely from the inertia of inflation expectations and a decrease in household propensity to save. Price volatility in global commodity and financial markets may also have an adverse impact on exchange rate and inflation expectations. Approving of conservative budget consolidation strategy, including moderate indexation of wages and pensions in the medium-term horizon, makes an uncertainty and inflation risks from fiscal policy subside. At the same time, these risks might increase if government spending rise in higher oil price scenario.




Tuesday December 13 2016
Russia's GDP Contraction Confirmed At 0.4% YoY In Q3
Federal State Statistics Service | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Russian economy shrank 0.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016, following 0.6 percent fall in the previous period, and in line with preliminary estimates. It was the smallest contraction in seven quarters, driven by lower drop in construction, public administration, transport and accelerated growth for mining and quarrying and agriculture. Russia remained stuck in recession, led by low oil prices, and sanctions over Ukraine that closed access to capital markets.

Construction fell less by 2.9 percent (-9.5 percent in Q2); public administration and military security declined 1.3 percent (-1.9 percent in Q2), and transport and communication remained unchanged (-1 percent in Q2).  

Also, mining and quarrying rose 2.2 percent (0.3 percent in Q2), agriculture production went up 3.2 percent (2 percent in Q2); and production and distribution of electricity, gas and water rose 1.8 percent (0.5 percent in Q2). 

Meanwhile, manufacturing fell 1.2 percent (+0.3 percent in Q2); wholesale and retail trade decreased at a faster 3 percent (-1.2 percent in Q2); and  financial activities declined 1 percent (1.3 percent in Q2). 




Monday December 12 2016
Russia Trade Surplus Below Expectations In October
Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Russia's trade surplus decreased to $6.6 billion in October 2016, from a $10 billion surplus a year earlier and well below market expectations of $8.2 billion. Exports dropped 7.6 percent, while imports rose for the third consecutive month by 8.2 percent. Considering the first ten months of the year, the trade surplus shrank 45.7 percent to $69.7 billion, as exports fell 22 percent and imports declined at a slower 2.7 percent.

Exports shrank 7.6 percent year-on-year to $24.9 billion. Sales fell for the 29th straight month. Imports went up 8.2 percent to  $18.3 billion, for the third consecutive month, central bank data showed.

The trade surplus with non-CIS countries declined 48.7 percent to $4.8 billion while with CIS countries fell at a slower 31.2 percent to $1.8 billion.


Tuesday December 06 2016
Russia Inflation Rate At 4-Year Low of 5.8% In November
Federal State Statistics Service | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Russia increased 5.8 percent year-on-year in November of 2016, following 6.1 percent growth in the previous month and below market expectations of 5.9 percent. It was the lowest inflation rate since July 2012, as prices rose at a slower pace for food; clothing and footwear; recreation and culture; furnishings and household equipment and alcoholic beverages and tobacco . On a monthly basis, prices went up 0.4 percent, below market consensus of 0.6 percent.

Prices rose at a slower pace for food (+5 percent from +5.5 percent in October); transport (+5.4 percent from +5.7 percent); clothing and footwear (+7.6 percent from +8.1 percent); recreation and culture (+6 percent from +6.5 percent); furnishings and household equipment (+5.6 percent from +6 percent); and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+8.7 percent from +8.9 percent). Meanwhile, housing and utilities inflation rate was steady at 5.3 percent.

Annual core inflation rate declined to 6.2 percent from 6.4 percent in October.

On a monthly basis, prices went up 0.4 percent, below market consensus of 0.6 percent. Main upward pressure came from: food (+0.8 percent); housing and utilities (+0.1 percent); transport (+0.1 percent); clothing (+0.7 percent); furnishings (+0.3 percent); restaurants and hotels (+0.3 percent); and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.5 percent). 


Friday November 18 2016
Russia Jobless Rate Falls To 5.4% In October
Federal State Statistics Service | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Russian unemployment rate decreased to 5.4 percent in October of 2016 compared to 5.5 percent a year ago and in line with market expectations. In the previous month, the jobless rate was recorded at 5.2 percent.

The number of unemployed people decreased by 152 thousand to 4.103 million in September of 2016. Meanwhile, the number of economically active decreased by 0.2 million to 76.6 million (52 percent of population).

Nominal wages rose 8.2 percent year-on-year to an average RUB 36200. Real pay went up 2 percent, following 1.9 percent growth in the previous month and in line with market expectations. Real disposable income decreased 5.9 percent, compared to 1.5 percent in September.


Friday November 11 2016
Russia Trade Surplus Above Expectations in September
Yekaterina Guchshina| yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Russia's trade surplus decreased to $7.38 billion in September 2016, from a $9.5 billion surplus a year earlier while above market expectations of $6.9 billion. Exports dropped 3 percent, the lowest decline since August 2014. Meanwhile, imports rose for the second consecutive month by 7.9 percent. Considering the first nine months of the year, the trade surplus shrank 46.6 percent to USD 63.1 billion, as exports fell 23.4 percent and imports declined 4 percent.

Exports shrank 3 percent year-on-year to USD 25.5 billion. Sales fell for the 28th straight month in a row while the least since August 2014. Imports went up 7.9 percent to USD 18.1 billion, for the second consecutive month, central bank data showed.

The trade surplus with non-CIS countries declined 24.4 percent to USD 5.7 billion while with CIS countries fell at a slower 14.3 percent to USD 1.6 billion.