Foreign language April, 2019 of the analytical review – The Monitoring of Socio-Economic Situation and Perceptions of the Population
Monthly foreign language issue, 2019 of the analytical review – Monthly Monitoring of Socio-Economic Situation and Perceptions of the Population. 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 April, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) published its second GDP estimate for 2018. According to the released data, the volume of Russia’s 2018 GDP in current prices amounted to RUB 103,875.8bn, and its physical volume index was 102.3% relative to 2017. The GDP estimate released by the RF Ministry of Economic Development indicates its growth of 0.6% in March 2019, after 1.4% in February and 0.6% in January, relative to the same periods of the previous year. In Q1 2019, GDP growth demonstrated a slowdown to 0.8% compared with the same period of the previous year.
- Russia’s ranking in the world by annual inflation rate has worsened. Some of the reasons for this state of affairs are the raised VAT level, the ruble’s movement pattern, seasonality of prices for some categories of goods, and the personal income movement pattern.
- In March 2019, Russia’s workforce amounted to 75.0 million persons, which is 1.1m less than in the corresponding period of 2018.
- The unemployment rate declined to 4.7%, which represents a 0.3 pp. drop on March 2018. Meanwhile, the number of registered unemployed persons amounted to 818,000, which is 4.4% above the corresponding index for the same period of the previous year. The number of job vacancies registered with the government employment agencies rose to 1.54m, and so there were on average 100 job vacancies for each 62.2 registered unemployed persons.
- In March, the average monthly pay level of employees, according to preliminary data released by Rosstat, amounted to Rb 45,000 in nominal terms, which corresponds to the pay level index for the same period of last year in real terms.
- According to Rosstat’s estimates, growth of high-productivity jobs over the course of the year 2018 amounted to 13.9%, their number hitting its historic high of the entire observation period — 19.5m.
- In Q1 2019, compared with Q1 2018, the share of salaries paid to the employees of organizations in the total amount of personal cash income increased from 42.1% to 43.6%.In Q1 2019, the share of income spent on goods in the structure of personal cash income utilization increased from 61.8% to 64.2% relative to the same period of 2018.
- In Q1 2019, the average per capita personal cash income, wages and salaries, and pensions all declined in Q1 2018 relative to the subsistence level.
- In Q1 2019, compared with the same period of the previous year, the share of the ‘subjectively poor’ population who estimated their material status to be bad or very bad increased from 25.3% to 29.6%.
- Over the course of Q1 2019, Russia’s natural population decline amounted to 106,600 persons. This movement pattern has been caused by a significant drop in the number of births and a slight decline in the number of deaths. The total fertility rate in January-March 2019 was 9.8 promille. The mortality rate (per 1000) declined by 3% (12.8‰). This index declined because of the lowering rate of mortality from all causes except cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
- In Q1 2019, the number of foreign citizens temporarily staying in the territory of Russia rose above the corresponding indices for the two previous years, but is still 10% below its pre-crisis level. The number of labor migrants in Russia is stable, but the share of those of them who have formalized their legal status is not increasing, while the amount of patent fees paid to the regional budgets even slightly shrank relative to last year.
- As far as the personal outlook surveys conducted over the past year are concerned, a certain shift towards more positive views of the economy’s development prospects can be noted.
- A comparison of the saving and borrowing financial behavior patterns demonstrates that the relative share of holders of significant savings is nearly four time less than that of loan takers. Only 22% of respondents belong to the most prosperous group of those who possess savings and have no loans to pay off.
- While the economic situation of 42% of employed persons is sufficiently sustainable, 15.6% of the working population face significant risks of their living standards deteriorating.
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