Russia’s real sector in January – September 2009

The economic situation in January–September 2009 was being determined by the cumulative impact of a drop in investments in fixed assets by 18.9 % and in retrial turnover – by 5.3 %, by comparison with the same period of last year.

The social background, as before, was characterized by declining real incomes of the population (by 1.1 %) and declining real wages (by 3.5 %). The situation was aggravated by the overall unemployment level remaining at the level of 7.6 %, and that of the officially registered unemployed – at the level of 2.7 % of the economically active population.

Some positive influence on GDP dynamics has been exerted by the restored upward dynamics of net exports (in domestic prices), which resulted from a gradual improvement of the situation on the world hydrocarbon market and increasing exports – in face from a continual reduction of the scale of imports as compared to the indices of imports recorded in January – September 2008.

When assessing the current satiation and the existing prospects for overcoming the crisis, it should be noted that the year 2009 saw some unfavorable shifts in the overall structure of imports: the dramatic drop of the share of import of investment commodities occurred against the backdrop of a reorientation towards import of commodities oriented to consumer and intermediate demand. If one takes into consideration the rate of decline displayed by domestic production of capital goods, the fact that imports constitute up to ¼ of the total volume of investments in machines and equipment, as well as the lags existing in the construction sector, the caution applied by the RF Ministry for Economic Development when forecasting the growth of investments in 2010 as compared with 2009 at the level of 1 % will become understandable. It can be noted that even the accelerated growth of investments in fixed assets (by comparison with the dynamics of GDP) in the planning period of 2011 – 2012 is forecasted to be at the level of 95.4 % of the pre-crisis level of 2008.

O. I. Izriadnova, Head of the Department of Economic Structural Issues