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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The disaster of the Russian economy: experts noted the stagnation at the bottom

Economic strip, which is now entering Russia, analysts scares more. Head of the research center, HSE George Ostapkovich said: nothing like this in Russia was not 20 years.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

As shown by the latest data of the quarterly survey of Rosstat among the four thousand leaders of trade organizations in 82 regions of the country in early 2016, more than a third of retailers have experienced a decrease in sales (53% cited the low demand is the main issue of the business).

A surge of layoffs in “retail” was the most powerful since 1998 (dismissal held one-third of executives).

55% of respondents stated that they were forced to raise prices in the first quarter, and 50% plan to increase in the second quarter. For the first time since 2009, registered a sharp jump in inflation in non-food segment, with 44% of respondents in the fourth quarter of 2015 up to 55% now.

However, as noted by the “MK” the authors of the analytical study based on data from Rosstat NRU Higher school of Economics, can speak about the gradual svecani of the population and entrepreneurs with the crisis. That does not detract from its scale.

– It is significant that in comparison with the crisis of 2008-2009 recession in 2015, much less at 3.7% vs 8%, — says Director of the market research Center, Institute for statistical studies and Economics of knowledge, HSE George Ostapkovich. — However, the situation in which the population, far worse: if eight years ago the people’s incomes grew, but now the decline comes to about 7-10%.

The real income consists mainly of wages and social payments, pensions, scholarships, funds from housing delivery in rent, business income, falling 17 months in a row. Almost 20 years have not been anything like it.

About 20 million people are below the subsistence level, and every two or three years, this figure increases.

In conditions of low solvency of the citizens is natural, the decline of trade.

The population, according to Ostapkovich, and in 2008 moved to the selectively-savings model of economic behavior. But in a more rigid form.

People, which can be attributed to the low-income strata, up to 50% and above of their income are forced to spend on food. However, even the middle class in Moscow (with an income of about 60 thousand rubles) leave the grocery to 45% of the funds against 30-35% earlier, and that’s not counting the payment of housing, travel, etc.

In such a situation, citizens have become more attentive to the selection of stores, the terms of the stock, there was a selective approach to food — not all that early.

Once on the eve of 2015 the citizens urgently bought appliances (the ruble collapsed, and the stores have not performed revaluation of goods), and now the Russians has significantly reduced the acquisition of durable goods and, if possible, lay the remaining funds.

Model households are model States in a reduced form, — says Georgy. — Uncertainty has increased, therefore people try to create their own reserve funds, which will be able in a crisis to use on children, grandchildren, health, etc.

You have to understand that for most people we are talking about the “airbag” in the 30-50 thousand rubles. It’s not the money, which makes sense to run to the Bank or to invest in the currency, in order to win something, so they are often kept at home. For some important financial enterprises, the minimum threshold is one million rubles.

With regard to loans, in February and March there was some recovery in this area, but our population is already leveraged, and many are not paid for the obligations of the 2013-2014 year, in addition, people news about the collectors.

In relation to IV quarter of last year, the business confidence index (ICS) has even increased by 2 points. Although the overall mood of the business only emerged from negative values to zero level, since no positive developments in the current and expected economic climate, merchants saw.

Retailers respond to the decrease in demand to staff reduction and another price increase, as well as care in the informal sector. Return of salaries in envelopes.

According to analysts, the situation is more acute in the regions and small towns. There are lower level income and consumption of the population. Lower competition in the trade sector; smaller or absent trading network, which can balance with prices holding the price tags on the commodities due to higher prices for coffee, wine, candy, etc.

– According to my estimates, “bottom”, as it is now fashionable to say, we passed, — said Georgy Ostapkovich. — Population and business accustomed to the situation, from the recession we are moving into a state of equilibrium, and this is dangerous: in a crisis, in the fall people are at least trying to do something, and that, stagnation is worse.

In 2017, we might even get a slight increase, but years of fat in the short term is not expected. All analytical calculations, we regularly send to the government, up there talking about modernization, but things are there.

To catch up with developing countries, the rate of growth of the Russian economy should be significantly higher, and we plunged into a state of “zero development”. This will be followed by further stratification in incomes of the population, now amounting to 16 times between the salaries of rich and poor, not taking into account the financial position of the extreme representatives of the oligarchs and the homeless, and, consequently, a very difficult social situation.

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