While we are all looking with great interest at the World Cup that is taking place in our country, and at the same time we are also fighting with the insidious government, trying to sneak in the extremely unpopular version of pension reform, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation announced the updated forecast for 2018- year, as well as some (so far unofficial) figures of the forecast for the period from 2019 to 2024.
This forecast is extremely interesting because almost all of the forecast indicators for such important areas as the economic growth of the country, the growth of salaries and total incomes, the growth of investments in fixed assets and so on are reduced. That is, almost everything positive, which is associated with the word "growth", expects a decline.
There are, of course, exceptions. In particular, it will increase ... the outflow of foreign capital. However, not so long: the department promises to reduce it to almost zero by the 2024 year. But otherwise news, frankly, not so hot ...
Not to be unfounded, I will give some basic figures. The economic growth rate in the current year is expected to be at the level of 1,9%, and not 2,1%, as was previously expected. The forecast for the next year is even worse: the economic growth in 2019 is expected to be only at the level of 1,4%, and not 2,2%. At 2020, growth is projected at 2%, and at 2021 - about three. True, the figures are not official, and it is very likely that they can be revised more than once. And what will happen to the 2021 year from the three percent, Oreshkin alone knows.
Real wages in Russia are also waiting for difficult times. If in the 2018 year they are expected to grow at the level of 6,3%, then in 2019 they will grow by only 1%. That is, somewhere at the level of statistical error or the usual safety net of officials who do not really want to voice negative numbers and lose their familiar places a year earlier.
Investment is expected to grow only 3,1%, compared to 3,5% in the current year and 4,4% in the past year.
In general, the numbers are not so catastrophic, but very, very dull. And it’s not at all clear how they fit in with the May presidential decree of President Putin, where we were promised, among other things, a two-fold reduction in poverty, acceleration of technological development, entry into the top five leading economies of the world, economic growth above average global rates, and all this while maintaining inflation is no higher than 4% per year.
Ministry of Economic Development puts an end to the May decree of Putin? Or does it still put an end to this government, the incompetence of which should be obvious, probably, even to the most patient and liberal Putin?
These are rhetorical questions, alas. After all, conclusions about the competence and professionalism of the “economic bloc” of our government could have been made five years ago, sending it in full force to where Ulyukaev was sent.
What are the reasons for such a significant deterioration in the forecast? But it deserves a separate study.
In fact, sources clearly indicate only two reasons: the increase in VAT on 2 percent. point and some "geopolitical instability", which will adversely affect the economy.
Well, this in itself is interesting. For example, the “experts” are beginning to look stupid somehow, who hastened to declare that such a slight increase in VAT will not affect the rate of economic growth. No, they say Mr. Oreshkin's wards, get a decrease in 0,3% and sign it.
As for the “geopolitical uncertainty”, the question immediately arises: do the experts from the Ministry of Economic Development understand the meaning of the term “geopolitics” in general?
The fact is that geopolitics refers to the policy of states, determined by geographic factors. And “geopolitical uncertainty” in the classical sense can only mean one thing - the expectation of war. The army is about to start moving, military blocks will be created and disintegrated, sea straits will be closed, world trade will become complicated, some resources will become inaccessible (for some it could be oil, and for someone tea and cocoa beans, for example) and etc. - this is, indeed, geopolitical uncertainty as it is.
So, we expect war? Okay, but where are the multiples of defense spending then? Where is the growth of investment in infrastructure? Where is the rapid recovery of the industry, littered with military orders?
But no, our “experts” understand geopolitical factors as “misunderstandings” with oil prices and, attention, trade wars that the United States is unleashing against its traditional partners. And if so, then it turns out that it is not so much about “geopolitical instability”, as though it is not understood, but about the banal absence of economic sovereignty from Russia, tied to the insane conditions of membership in the WTO and the absence of real levers of economic regulation international trade and cooperation.
The problem of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade is that even the muddy formulation of “geopolitical instability” does not save the government from unpleasant issues related to the slowdown in business activity. And the main one: is it a coincidence that it coincided with the brilliant “victory” of the government and the Central Bank over inflation?
For a good thirty years, we have been told how wonderful we will live when inflation in Russia finally reaches four percent. And if less, then we will instantly come economic paradise with great savings, luxury consumption, cheap loans and high economic activity.
However, it turned out that it works only when the government and the Central Bank manage to reduce inflation to 4%, having a refinancing rate of at most three percent. In our country everything is somewhat different: the economy was strangled with a huge (against inflation) credit cost, reported on “outstanding success” and only now begin to understand what price the industry and the population will have to pay for it.
But if you thought that the author calls to disperse inflation, then nothing. Or maybe he wants to lower the rate of the Central Bank, hoping for the traditional Russian perhaps? Also by: the author does not want anything like that.
And he wants the government, which has repeatedly proved its incompetence by deed, to finally be dismissed homeless. And ideally - that graduates and employees of the HSE be banned from holding positions in the civil service.
And let the new economy take care of the Russian economy. The population of the country under 150 millions. Is it possible that Medvedev, Siluanov and Oreshkin brought together a white light?
May decree is not a decree to us! Ministry of Economic Development predicts stagnation
- Viktor Kuzovkov
- Photos used: