According to Rostat “Statistics of Russia,” the country’s latest macro indicators are in and there is good reason to believe the economy has left the recession behind.
GDP grew 0.01% year-on-year; the government has not been able positive growth for some time. July’s numbers will tell us if this is the start of a trend. Industrial output is up 1.7%, with retail and construction still under-preforming.
Business confidence remains buoyant. This is one of the most important macro indicators – it provides an insight how businesses view the immediate future. The Purchasing Managers’ Indexes (PMI) services indicator is at the highest point since 2013 and there are signs new businesses are about to be started.
Real wages have increased 1.4% year-on-year, with unemployment dropping from 5.6% to 5.4%. A drag on the economy is real disposable incomes – down almost 5% year-on-year.
Full year inflation has been persistently close to 7.3% for the past four months.
De-coupling: Brent oil price decreased 14.5% in July, though the ruble declined only 3%. This may indicate the ruble days of rapid swings movement may have come to an end.
The price of Brent crude appears to be settling in the trading range of US$44 to US$54 per barrel. This is at a time when Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to boost output.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.