Wednesday October 17 2018
Russian Jobless Rate Falls to New Record Low in September
Federal State Statistics Service | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Russian unemployment rate dropped to a fresh record low of 4.5 percent in September 2018 from 5 percent in the corresponding month of the previous year, below market expectations of 4.7 percent. In August, unemployment rate was higher at 4.6 percent.

The number of unemployed declined by 72 thousand to 3.434 million in September from 3.506 million in the previous month. Compared with the previous year, unemployment fell by 385 thousand from 3.819 million. 

Real wages in Russia increased by 7.2 percent year-on-year in September, following a downwardly revised 6.8 percent advance in the previous month and above market expectations of a 6.4 percent gain. Average nominal wages surged 10.8 percent to RUB 42,200 while annual inflation rate rose to 3.4 percent, the highest level since July 2017. Meanwhile, real disposable personal income in Russia decreased by 1.5 percent in September, following a 0.9 percent drop in the previous month.




Friday October 12 2018
Russia August Trade Surplus Larger than Expected
Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Russia’s trade surplus widened to USD 15.80 billion in August of 2018 from USD 6.66 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year, and above market consensus of a USD 15.0 billion surplus.

Exports jumped 28.7 percent to USD 37.44 billion in August from USD 29.08 billion a year ago, as exports to non-CIS countries climbed 30.8 percent to USD 32.69 billion and those to CIS countries went up 16.3 percent to USD 4.75 billion.

Imports fell 3.5 percent year-on-year to USD 21.64 billion, the first annual decline since July of 2016. Imports from non-CIS countries decreased 4.1 percent to USD 19.42 billion while those from CIS countries advanced 2.6 percent to USD 2.22 billion. 

The trade surplus with non-CIS countries grew 179.5 percent to USD 13.27 billion from USD 4.75 billion a year ago; and with CIS countries it widened 31.82 percent to USD 2.53 billion from USD 1.92 billion.




Friday October 05 2018
Russia Inflation Rate Rises More than Expected
Federal State Statistics Service | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Russia’s annual inflation rate rose to 3.4 percent in September of 2018 from 3.1 percent in the previous month, slightly above market expectations of 3.3 percent. It was the highest inflation rate since July of 2017, mainly due to food prices.

Within the goods component, food cost advanced 2.5 percent in September, up from a 1.9 percent rise in August; and prices of non-food products rose by 4 percent, following a 3.8 percent gain in the prior month. Also, services inflation went up to 3.8 percent in September from 3.7 percent in August.

Annual core inflation rate picked up to 2.8 percent in September from 2.6 percent in the previous month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, higher than market consensus of 0.1 percent and after showing no growth in August. Prices advanced faster for non-food products (0.4 percent from 0.2 percent in August) and cost fell less for food (-0.1 percent from -0.4 percent). Meanwhile, prices slowed for services (0.2 percent from 0.3 percent). 




Wednesday September 19 2018
Russian Jobless Rate Falls to New Record Low
Federal State Statistics Service | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Russian unemployment rate dropped to a fresh record low of 4.6 percent in August 2018 from 4.7 percent in the previous month, and compared to last year's figure of 4.9 percent. The number of unemployed decreased by 2.7 percent from a month earlier.

The number of unemployed declined by 97 thousand to 3.506 million in August from 3.603 million in the previous month. Compared with the previous year, unemployment fell by 290 thousand from 3.796 million.

Real wages in Russia increased by 7 percent year-on-year in August, following a 7.5 percent advance in the previous month and below market expectations of a 7.5 percent gain. Average nominal wages surged 10.3 percent to RUB 41,140 while annual inflation rate rose to 3.1 percent. Meanwhile, real disposable personal income in Russia decreased by 0.9 percent in August, following a 2.3 percent gain in the previous month.


Friday September 14 2018
Russia Unexpectedly Hikes Rates to 7.5%
Bank of Russia | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Bank of Russia raised its key rate by 25bps to 7.5 percent on September 14th 2018, beating markets that expected no changes. It is the first rate hike since December of 2014, as external uncertainties and volatility in financial markets increased inflationary risks. The central bank increased inflation forecasts to 3.8-4.2 percent in 2018 from 3.5-4 percent and said will consider further tightening if necessary.

Excerpts from the Information Notice of Bank of Russia:

On 14 September 2018, the Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to raise the key rate by 0.25 pp to 7.50% per annum. Changes in external conditions observed since the previous meeting of the Board of Directors have significantly increased proinflationary risks. The Bank of Russia forecasts annual inflation to be 5-5.5% in 2019 and return to 4% in 2020. This forecast takes into account the decisions taken with regard to the key rate and to the suspension of foreign currency purchases in the domestic market under the fiscal rule. The Bank of Russia will consider the necessity of further increases in the key rate, taking into account inflation and economic dynamics against the forecast, as well as risks posed by external conditions and the reaction of financial markets.

The ruble’s depreciation is related to capital outflow due to changes in external conditions. At the same time, the current account balance remains high thanks to stable prices of Russian export goods and significantly exceeds the amount of external debt repayments scheduled for the coming months. In this context, the Bank of Russia’s decision to suspend foreign currency purchases in the domestic market under the fiscal rule will serve to curtail exchange rate volatility and its influence on inflation over the next few quarters.

According to the Bank of Russia forecast that takes into account the decisions taken with regard to the key rate and to the suspension of foreign currency purchases in the domestic market under the fiscal rule, by the end of 2018 the consumer price growth rate will be 3.8-4.2%. Annual inflation will peak in the first six months of 2019 reaching 5.0-5.5% by the end of 2019. Quarterly year-on-year consumer price growth rate will draw close to 4% as early as in the second half of 2019. Annual inflation will slow down to 4% in the first half of 2020 when the effects of ruble’s weakening and the VAT rise peter out.

The Bank of Russia keeps unchanged its 2018 annual GDP growth forecast of 1.5-2%, which corresponds to the potential economic growth rate.

The economic growth forecast for 2019-2021, included in the baseline scenario, was updated to take into account changes in external conditions and the estimated influence of the set of fiscal and structural measures to be taken by 2024 on economic performance. In 2019, the forthcoming VAT increase might have a slight constraining effect on business activity, mostly in the beginning of the year. Newly attracted budgetary funds will be used to boost government spending, including spending on investments, as early as 2019. As a result, according to the Bank of Russia forecast, GDP growth in 2019 will range between 1.2% and 1.7%. The following years might see higher growth rates as planned structural measures are implemented.

The balance of risks has further shifted towards proinflationary risks. Main risks stem from highly uncertain external conditions and their impact on financial markets.

Further yield growth in advanced economies, capital outflow from emerging markets together with geopolitical factors might cause volatility in financial markets to persist, and affect exchange rate and inflation expectations.

The Bank of Russia will consider the necessity of further increases in the key rate, taking into account inflation and economic dynamics against the forecast, as well as risks posed by external conditions and the reaction of financial markets.




Tuesday September 11 2018
Russia July Trade Surplus Smaller than Expected
Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Russia's trade surplus widened sharply to USD 13.40 billion in July 2018 from USD 3.83 billion in the same month a year earlier, but still below market expectations of a USD 14.40 billion surplus.

Exports jumped 39.5 percent to USD 34.43 billion in July from USD 24.68 billion a year ago, as exports to non-CIS countries climbed 42.5 percent to USD 29.83 billion and those to CIS countries went up 22.7 percent to USD 4.60 billion. 

Imports went up at a much softer 0.9 percent to USD 21.03 billion from USD 20.85 billion a year earlier. Imports from non-CIS countries increased 0.9 percent to USD 18.85 billion and those from CIS countries advanced 0.3 percent to USD 2.18 billion. 

The trade surplus with non-CIS countries grew 385.8 percent to USD 10.99 billion from USD 2.26 billion a year ago; and with CIS countries it widened 53.7 percent to USD 2.42 billion from USD 1.57 billion.

Considering January-July, the trade surplus widened to USD 104.04 billion from USD 63.51 billion in the same period of 2017.


Monday September 10 2018
Russia Q2 GDP Growth Revised Higher to 1.9%
Federal State Statistics Service | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Russia's gross domestic product grew by 1.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, up from a preliminary estimate of 1.8 percent and following a 1.3 percent expansion reported in the previous three-month period. The stronger growth rate was mainly driven by gains in hotel, transport and restaurant sectors as the soccer World Cup had a positive impact on the economy. In addition, manufacturing and mining output increased at a faster pace.

The services sector contributed significantly to growth, as sharper rises were reported for: accommodation & food service activities (6.9 percent vs 3.4 percent in Q1); transportation & storage (3.9 percent vs 0.9 percent); financial & insurance activities (8.6 percent vs 5.9 percent); public administration & defence, compulsory social security (2.8 percent vs 2.3 percent); wholesale & retail trade (1.9 percent vs no growth); information & communication (3.3 percent vs 0.3 percent); and administrative & support service activities (1.8 percent from 0.6 percent). Meanwhile, there was a contraction in real estate activities (-1.5 percent vs 3.9 percent).

Within industrial activity, production grew further for both manufacturing (2.8 percent vs 1.9 percent) and mining & quarrying (2.6 percent from 0.7 percent); while electricity, gas & steam, air conditioning output was was unchanged (vs 2.1 percent in Q1), and water supply, water disposal, organization of waste collection & disposal, pollution control activities dropped 2.2 percent (vs 0.2 percent in Q1). In contrast, construction output rebounded firmly (0.8 percent vs -5.1 percent).

In addition, agriculture, forestry & fishing advanced by 0.3 percent, compared to a 0.1 percent fall in the first quarter.

Considering the first half of 2018, the Russian economy grew 1.7 percent, slightly above 1.6 percent in the same period of 2017.

The Bank of Russia predicts that GDP growth will be 1.5-2.0 percent in both the third and the fourth quarters.




Wednesday September 05 2018
Russia Inflation Rate at 1-Year High of 3.1%
Federal State Statistics Service | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Russia’s annual inflation rate rose to 3.1 percent in August of 2018 from 2.5 percent in the previous month, slightly below market expectations of 3.2 percent. It was the highest inflation rate since August of 2017, mainly due to food prices.

Within the goods component, food cost advanced 1.9 percent in August, up from a 0.5 percent rise in July; and prices of non-food products rose by 3.8 percent, the same as in the previous month. Meanwhile, services inflation eased to 3.7 percent in August from 3.8 percent in July.

Annual core inflation rate picked up to 2.6 percent in July from 2.4 percent in the previous period. It was the highest rate since September last year.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices showed no growth, compared to a 0.3 percent gain in July and missing market expectations of a 0.1 percent increase. Prices advanced faster for non-food products (0.2 percent from 0.1 percent in July) while cost slowed for services (0.3 percent from 1.3 percent). Meanwhile, food prices declined 0.4 percent, following a 0.3 percent drop in July.


Friday August 17 2018
Russian Unemployment Rate Unchanged at Record Low
Federal State Statistics Service | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Russian unemployment rate stood at an all-time low of 4.7 percent in July 2018, unchanged from the previous month and compared with last year's 5.1 percent. The number of unemployed increased by 1.7 percent from a month earlier.

The number of unemployed rose by 60 thousand to 3.603 million in July from 3.543 million in the previous month. Compared with the previous year, unemployment fell by 304 thousand from 3.907 million.

Real wages in Russia increased by 8 percent year-on-year in July, following a 7.2 percent advance in the previous month and far above market expectations of a 6.8 percent gain. Average nominal wages surged 10.7 percent to RUB 42,640 while annual inflation rate rose to 2.5 percent in July, close to January's record low of 2.2 percent. Meanwhile, real disposable personal income in Russia increased by 2 percent in July, following a 0.7 percent gain in the previous month.


Friday August 10 2018
Russian Economy Grows 1.8% in Q2
Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Russia's gross domestic product grew by 1.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, following a 1.3 percent expansion reported in the previous period, a preliminary estimate showed.

It was the seventh straight quarter of growth after two years of contraction.

The Bank of Russia said recently that holding the World Cup in Russia made a positive contribution to GDP growth, noting that demand from foreign fans increased the volume of services in the hotel, transport and restaurant sectors. Also, the bank forecast that GDP growth will be 1.5-2.0 percent in both the third and the fourth quarters.

Considering the first half of 2018, the Russian economy grew 1.7 percent, according to early estimates from the Ministry of Economic Development.