Foreign language Issue 2, 2018 of the analytical review – The Monitoring of Socio-Economic Situation and Perceptions of the Population
Foreign language Issue 2, 2018 of the analytical review – Monthly Monitoring of Socio-Economic Situation and Perceptions of the Population is published (English and Russian Version). Analytical material prepared by a pool of experts of the Institute for Social Analysis and Prediction of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
Main conclusions of the issue:
- In July 2018, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) published its first GDP estimate for Q1 2018, according to which the volume of Russia’s Q1 2018 GDP in current prices amounted to Rb 22,239.4bn. Its physical volume index was 101.3% relative to the same period of 2017, while the GDP deflator for Q1 2018 was 106.8% relative to prices in Q1 2017.
- According to estimates released by the RF Ministry of Economic Development, in May 2018, GDP grew by 2.1% on the same period of last year. Having taken into account new data on industrial production, the Ministry upgraded its estimates of GDP growth in April to 2.2%. The main contributors to economic growth acceleration in April and May compared with the previous months of 2018 were the processing industry, the transportation industry, and wholesale and retail trade.
- According to data released by the Bank of Russia, in April 2018, Russia’s foreign trade turnover (calculated on the basis of the balance of payments methodology) amounted to $ 57.2bn in actual prices. In April 2018, Russia’s foreign trade turnover with far-abroad countries amounted to $ 50.2bn in current prices, which represented a 30.1% rise on April 2017, while her foreign trade turnover with CIS counties amounted to $ 7.0bn, or 20.9% higher than in the corresponding month of last year.
- In May 2018, wholesale trade turnover amounted to Rb 6,178bn, which represented a 3.3% rise on May 2017; small entrepreneurship subjects accounted for 39.2% of wholesale turnover. In May 2018, retail trade turnover amounted to Rb 2,507bn, which represented a 2.4% rise on May 2018 (in comparable prices), while in January-May 2018 it amounted to Rb 12,025.1bn, or 2.4% higher than in the corresponding period of last year.
- In May 2018, the combined loan portfolio of the banking sector was 6.7% larger than in May 2017. The combined loan portfolio’s components demonstrate diverse behaviors: the growth-rate of the real sector’s debt continued to decrease (a 2.6% growth over the course of 12 months), while the volume of retail loans continued to grow at an accelerated pace, primarily due to the ongoing rise in housing mortgage lending.
- In June 2018, the rate of consumer price inflation increased by 2.3% relative to May, including by 3.7% in the non-food segment and by 4.1% in the services segment. It should be added that for the first time since 2013 the rate of non-food inflation was on the decline (-0.2% relative to the previous month).
- In May 2018, the number of persons in the labor force amounted to 76.1m, which represented an increase by 103 thousand persons relative to May 2017. This increase is attributed to the ongoing growth of the level of economic activity of the population.
- In May 2018, the unemployment rate (according to the ILO methodology) hit its historic low of 4.7%, which represented a 0.4 pp. drop on May 2017. The rate of registered unemployment remained unchanged at 1.0%.
- In January-May 2018, the share of money income allocated towards savings amounted to 6.4%, which represented a drop on 2013 and 2015-2017, attributed to a number of factors, including a notable growth in individuals’ accounts payable.
- According to data released by Rosstat, in Q2 2018, the proportion of persons who evaluated their financial situation as ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ amounted to 23.2%, which represented a drop on Q2 of 1999-2017.
- According to data released by the Public Opinion Foundation, in June 2018, the proportion of persons who stated that they had just enough money to buy food and nothing else, or even less than enough money to buy food, amounted to 37%, which represented a drop on June 2016. At the same time, the proportion of persons who were able to buy household appliances increased from 22% in June 2016 to 30% in June 2018.
- There is a continuing trend towards a slow decline in positive views of the economy, which reached their peak in March 2018. However, these views are not determined by the actual economic situation of the population, which has slightly improved on the whole.
- The proportion of employed persons facing high risk of unemployment, wage delays and pay cuts is about the same as it was last month, although it has declined relative to the corresponding periods of the years 2017 and 2016.
- Changes in the economic behavior of the population have become manifest in a considerable rise of investment in human capital, which is likely to be related to the rise in expenses caused by the costs of student enrollment in higher education institutions.