Monthly Monitoring of Socio-Economic Situation and Perceptions of the Population, April 2018, is Online
Issue April 2018 of the analytical review – Monthly Monitoring of Socio-Economic Situation and Perceptions of the Population is now published online. It is 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 March 2018, inflation demonstrated a gentle growth. While over the first two months of 2018 inflation in per annum terms was estimated to be at the level of 2.2%, in March it climbed to 2.4% in per annum terms.
- The volume of bank loans issued to the real sector of the economy in Q1 2018 demonstrated a modest average monthly growth rate of 0.2%, while the aggregate volume of loans issued over the year’s first three month gained 3.4% relative to the corresponding period of the previous year. It is most noteworthy that the share of loans issued for a period more than one year amounts to 75%.
- In the retail lending sector there was significant growth, over Q1 2018, of the volume of newly issued loans relative to Q1 2017 (by 13.7%), mainly due to revival in the housing mortgage market. The monthly movement pattern of retail lending volume displays an average growth rate of 1%.
- The structure of retail trade turnover remained practically unchanged. In March, the share of food products, including beverages and tobacco products, amounted to 48.7% of total retail trade turnover, while the share of non-food products stood at 51.3%, thus persisting at exactly the same level as in the previous month.
- Over January-March 2018, consumer prices in Russia grew by 0.8% relative to December 2017, whereas food prices increased by 1.7%. Across the EU countries, consumer prices on average gained 0.2%, while the prices of food products increased on average by 0.5%. The prices of vegetables and fruits grew at the fastest rate. By comparison with other countries (non-EU members), prices in Russia increased at a notably slower pace.
- By the year-end results of 2017, the rate of consumer price inflation in Russia was lowest compared with the neighboring CIS countries. Having dropped by 2.3% in 2016, retail trade turnover in the CIS countries grew at a robust rate of 2% in 2017. It should be noted that the growth rate of retail trade turnover in Russia was lower than its CIS average.
- The number of job vacancies registered with the government employment agencies and entered in HeadHunter’s records is on the rise, which is indicative of labor deficit growth.
- In Q1 2018, the personal savings rate hit one of its record lows since 2000 (6%).
- In 2017, more than half of Russia’s regions registered a rise in poverty.
- April saw a decline in optimistic expectations that was manifest in a more negative assessment of the current economic situation and its prospects for an improvement. At the same time, the subjective sense of wellbeing slightly improved, although a considerable proportion of the population are still worried by the possibility of a worsening economic situation.