Assessment of Russia's balance of payments for 2009

On January 13, the Bank of Russia has published the assessment of balance of payments for 2009. In accordance with the published information, the surplus current account balance has decreased in comparison with 2008 by 54% and amounted to 47.5 billion dollars.


The main cause of balance reduction was a sharp drop in earnings of the Russian exporters due to reduced prices for oil, gas, oil products, metals and other commodity export items. It should be noted that in the second half of 2009 we observed recovery of exports due to increased export prices. It is worth noting that imports were recovering with the stabilization of the situation in the Russian economy. Moreover, if during the II - III quarters the goods imports recovery took place more slowly than exports thereof, in the IV-th quarter the growth rate of imports reached nearly 24%, while the exports - only 15%. In the case of continuation of this trend there may occur a reduction of the current account surplus, and with other things being equal, it will create a downward pressure on the ruble. However, we would like to note that in the IV-th quarter a fixed traditional seasonal upsurge in imports is recorded, and its further growth against the background of stagnation in the economy is unlikely to be as quick.

As concerns the balance of capital account and financial instruments, the net export of capital from the private sector as per results of 2009 amounted to USD 52.4 billion, which is significantly less as compared with the net outflow of USD 132.8 billion recorded in 2008. Moreover, in the IV-th quarter of 2009, the net private capital inflow reached USD 11.6 billion. In the medium term, the dynamics of capital flows will be largely dependent on the situation in the global financial markets. In case of a smooth continuation of the trend for reviving the global economy in 2010, one can expect net inflows of private capital to the RF.

P.V. Trunin, Ph.D., Head of Laboratory for Monetary and Credit Policy