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Economy in Brief


Recent Data For The Russian Economy

by Louise Curley September 21, 2009

Preliminary data suggest that the Russian Gross Domestic Product, fell 0.5% in the second quarter, a marked improvement over the 9.0% decline in the first quarter. (These figures are based on the series that have been seasonally adjusted by Haver Analytics.) August data on production, construction, and retail sales have been disappointing. Production and construction declined in contrast to increases in July and retail sales showed a smaller increase in August than in July. The unemployment rate, however, was 8.6% in August 2 basis points below July.

In spite of the July hiccup particularly in industrial production, the prospects for increased activity in Russia have brightened. Oil prices are up, the Reserve Bank has steadily lowered the refinancing rate from 13% in March to 10.5% in September. Inflation, though still high, was 11.6% in August, down from 13.15% in April. Recent data for these aspects of the Russian economy are shown in the table below.

The Purchasing Mangers Survey published by Markit Economics in London reported earlier this month that the GDP indicator for Russia reached the expansion stage in August (above 50) for the first time since September, 2008 as shown in the first chart. Finally, the Stock Market has increased 44% from the recent low point reached on July10 and 1208 today is 139% above the low reached on February 2, 2009. The decline and rise in the stock market is shown in the second chart.

RUSSIA  Sep 09 Aug  09 Jul 09 Jun 09      May 09  Apr 09  Mar 09
Industrial Production (M/M % Chg) -- -3.0 4.7 4.5 -2.1 -8.1 --
Retail Sales  (M/M % Chg) -- 1.68 2.36 0.88 1.70 0.71 --
Value of Construction Work Performed  (M/M % Chg) -- -2.66 2.61 210.55 0.74 11.54 --
Unemployment Rate (%) -- 8.6 8.8 8.7 8.9 8.7 --
Inflation (%) -- 11.6 12.0 11.9 12.3 13.2 --
Refinancing Rate  (%) 10.50 10.75 11.00 11.50 12.00 12.50 13.00
Oil Price Brent Crude (Ave of Daily Prices $ per barrel) -- 72.86 65.62 69.24 58.25 51.18 --
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