On October 7, Sergey Tsukhlo, Candidate of economic sciences, Head of Business Surveys Department of the Gaidar Institute, delivered a presentation “Recovery of the Russian industry from "viral" crisis of 2020. Results of 9 months of 2021" at a seminar in the Moscow School of Economics, the Lomonosov State University devoted to the economics of energy and environment.

In the course of his presentation, Sergey Tsukhlo noted that business questionnaire surveys aimed at enterprise managers have been conducted by the Gaidar Institute for a uniquely long period, i.e. from 1992 to the present. It is a quick and convenient way to collect information about the actual changes in the performance of enterprises, estimates of the current situation and the expected future prospects. Currently, Rosstat, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the Russian Economic Barometer (IMEMO), PMI Markit also conduct similar surveys.

The calculation of the Industrial Optimism Index by the Gaidar Institute over the years clearly shows how Russian industry has undergone through all crises of 1992-2021. The protracted crisis of the 90s in the XX century as well as the crisis of 2008-2009 fit into long-established ideas about the state of Russian industry.

The official crisis of 2015-2016 was not noticed by the Russian industry. These two years have only evidenced a continued stagnation that began in the industry in 2012. However, strange behavior of the industry in the official crisis year of 2015 made it necessary to construct another aggregate indicator, that is, the Index of adaptation (normality) of Russian industry, based solely on the estimates of enterprises according to the scale “ above the norm of demand”,“ normal ”,“ below the norm ”, stocks of finished products, stocks of raw materials, capacity, number of employees and financial condition. Surveys held in 2021 registered abnormal satisfaction of enterprises with demand, lack of finished goods and raw materials.

According to enterprises, in the beginning of virus crisis 2020, it was assumed that decline in demand was the biggest issue. However, the negative effect of this factor has been dramatically corrected along with unexpectedly rapid recovery, and retreated to the 2nd place by July 2021.

The first place was taken by growth in prices for raw materials and supplies. This consequence turned out to be the only one that increased its prevalence in the Russian industry. It is now indicated by 71% of enterprises. Another "raw material" factor - "the need to create additional reserves of raw materials" was able to return to its initial positions only after 5 quarters. All other impacts of the virus crisis had reduced their negative impact on the Russian industry by July 2021, or were initially insignificant.

According to Gaidar Institute, inflation expectations of enterprises in 2021 have broken many-year records. In May 2021, they were record-breaking for the 21st century, in June-July they decreased, but in August-September the decline stopped. Investment optimism in 2021 returned to the pre-crisis level.

The credit crisis of 2020 was very mild for the industry. However, during 2020 banks were sensitive to the growth of morbidity, tightening the terms of lending. The rate offered by banks began to clearly increase in Q3 2021.

According to surveys, Sergey Tsukhlo noted the barriers to import substitution. The main one is "the banal absence of Russian analogues of any quality". In 2021, 81% of enterprises already faced this issue more than ever before. The factor “low quality of domestic equipment and raw materials” occupied the second place even more confidently. In 2021, it was emphasized by more than 50% of the surveyed Russian enterprises, which is also an indicator that exceeds earlier values. 

Presentation to the report.