According to Kommersant, the final version of the economic surveys of Russian industry in March 2022 conducted by the Gaidar Institute (IEP) contains not only estimates of the current situation, but also expectations of companies. The investment plans of enterprises experienced an unprecedented decline in March (see chart), says Sergey Tsukhlo, Head of Business Surveys Department of the Gaidar Institute.

  "After a remarkably stable and high eleven-month optimism, the intention to invest in own production lost 46 p.p. in the first month of the 'total operation' and fell to the low points of the investment crises of 2015-2016 and 2020," said the expert. At the same time, he noted that the anti-record of 2008-2009 has not yet been broken.

Although according to Rosstat, balanced profit (which is the main source of investment by for companies) increased 2.1-fold in January 2022 (thus maintaining the trend of record 2021), an increase in the CBR's key interest rate meant that the minimum annual interest rate offered by banks to industry rose from 11.3% to 21.7%. According to IEP, such a value of the indicator has not yet been recorded in the monitoring started in September 2009.

According to the Gaidar Institute, business forecasts suggest a further rise in selling prices in April and May after March's record price growth rate. Likewise, industry began reducing the number of employees in March (for the first time since September 2020) and companies' hiring plans "collapsed in March like never before", the researchers noted. They lost 46 p.p. over the month, replacing the historic high of optimism in January-February 2022 with pessimism that so far is inferior only to the crisis lows of 1998 and 2009.