We asked the author, Professor Sergey Semenovich Gubanov to tell about the situation in the domestic economy.
- Sergey Semenovich, what is happening now with the Russian economy?
- There are several innovations, but they all find expression in one thing - the economic recession. Russia in recession. True, the government assures that GDP is growing, and only the rate of this growth decreases to infinitely small. It seems that it is not averse to comforting itself, even if it is nanostand, because there is fish for bezrybe and cancer. However, there is virtually no growth.
Instead of growth, there is a decline - a decline in GDP, budget, aggregate demand, purchasing power of the population, enterprises and the state. While the prices of the main commodity exports - oil and gas - are not lower than last year. They are pretty tall. Therefore, one of the innovations is that high prices for commodity exports have ceased to support even the appearance of growth, which is still the essence of growth without development.
Thus, in dollar terms, GDP increased after 2002 in 5,5 times. But did the productivity of labor and the standard of living of Russians increase by 5,5? Nothing like this. The end-use commodity resources increased only by 43%, and all the rest is a bubble inflated by the inflation of the petrodollar. The volume of the commodity part of GDP is still less than 50% of the national income of the RSFSR at the level of 1990, when, by the way, Gorbachev's disorganization has already poured into the Yeltsin orgy of destruction of the USSR.
Before 2013, there was nominal growth, but there was no development. Now there is no growth. Since the second half of 2012, the economy has slipped into the attenuation band, and then the fall - still modest. The industry, capital investments, employment, export, profit, receipts in the state budget roll down. The purchasing power of the population inexorably dries out. The recession has already hit aggregate demand, and is very sensitive. Reigns budget sequestration, painful for everyone: people, industries, regions. Not seeing how to raise revenues, the Kremlin mercilessly cuts expenses.
Upward trend turned downward. The main reason is the policy of preserving the export-raw material model - the comprador and therefore anti-Russian. Because of this policy, Russia is immersed in a systemic crisis, continuing to work on foreign capital, instead of working on itself, on new industrialization, raising labor productivity, living standards and quality of life of the population.
- Is this a recession, the probability of which you announced more than a year and a half ago, back in January 2012?
- True, the possibility of just such a recession was discussed. At the end of 2011, it is worth recalling that the world froze in anticipation of a repeated recession. For the G7 countries, the IMF, the World Bank, and Nobel laureates in economics predicted gloom no later than the first half of 2012. N. Rubini hailed in the choir with terrible prophecy. In the middle of December 2011, my colleagues and I decided to check whether 2012 would indeed be the year of another collapse. And turned to our model prediction of cyclical crises. Calculations showed that troubadours of the “second wave of recession” hurried: at 2012, its probability was zero. A year has passed, and our conclusion turned out to be accurate: the model did not let us down.
At the same time, one rather unexpected result emerged. He directly touched Russia. As it turned out, while the recession in industrialized nations is so far incredible, then for our country, on the contrary, such a probability exists - and is high enough to be taken seriously. Therefore, I had to add that recession without recession is possible in Russia in the countries of the “big seven” - asymmetrically and at different times with them. It is probably appropriate to quote: “The dangers of a recession for developed countries in 2012 are not. For Russia, this danger exists, moreover, it is much more serious compared to 2008. ”(S. Gubanov. Is the world recession-2012 likely? // Economist. 2012. No. 1).
- How deep is the fall of the domestic economy in 2013?
- The recession is still moderate, the actual decline does not exceed 1,7% of GDP.
- Your estimate differs from the Rosstat calculations, which instead of minus 1,7% gives plus 1,6% of GDP for the first quarter, plus 1,2% for the second quarter and plus 1,4% for the first half of the year as a whole. Do not explain where this discrepancy comes from and how do you think?
- The calculation was carried out by two methods, based on official statistics. The method of balance of the national economy and the method of structural-dynamic analysis of the components of the use of GDP were used. It seems that it is unnecessary to go into the details and subtleties of the methodology, algorithm, and calculation tools. The main results speak for themselves.
Formally, the Rosstat estimate is correct: in nominal terms, GDP grew in the first quarter. 2013 on 1,6%. But is there an increase in real GDP use? In fact, there is no increase; on the contrary - there is a reduction. In total, by 1,7%. Unfortunately, the necessary data for the calculation of the second quarter is still missing. We only know that the second quarter was not better than the first. Two consecutive quarters "in the red" is a recession. Nominally GDP growth is, but really there is nothing to use from it. And the Kremlin has to spend reserves to statistically show economic growth.
- What element makes a major contribution to the recession?
- In the biggest minus gross accumulation. Compensation was on the line of final consumption, due to the reduction in net exports. The state simply spent foreign exchange reserves to support individual investment programs and, to a minimum, mandatory social spending. It is clear that foreign exchange reserves are scarce. Therefore, budget sequestration rages on all counts, not the most mandatory in the eyes of the government. Among them - science, education, health, space, etc.
Compradors do not suffer. With the help of private banks, they intensively withdraw their rent abroad. The social majority suffers, for all the burden of recession falls on its shoulders. Indexation for state employees is postponed, household tariffs increase, asocial regulation of electricity consumption is enforced, wages are cut, unemployment increases, even the property of the RAS, which has not been affected by privatization, is getting ready for a sale - the government is grabbing a straw.
In short, only support from state reserves allows us to show statistical growth in GDP. But real resources are needed. Paper tsifir does not compensate for their shortages, it does not satisfy either the investment hunger, nor the budget, nor the commodity, nor energy. So Russia is really in recession, and the budget is in short supply.
- Why did the economy begin to slide down from 2013, with high oil and gas prices?
- The reasons are divided into internal and external. The government believes that there are external causes: they say that low growth rates are everywhere in the world. This argument is wrong. Before 2013, the economies of the G-7 countries fought more for qualitative changes, and then the government took credit for the fact that, in terms of GDP growth, Russia was ahead of many slow ones. Now the industrialized countries have turned from slow into nimble, having achieved an industrial boom, and that - they suddenly began to slow down the Russian economy? Nonsense. Nod at them to anything. It makes no sense to hold on to unfit logic in order to divert attention from the truth.
External causes are not as critical as internal ones. Turning to the internal ones, one should keep in mind their division into fundamental and immediate ones.
Initially, the fundamental reasons. They are associated with a systemic crisis, which is caused by the dominance of comprador property and led to the separation of the extractive industry from manufacturing. The value chains are fragmented into autonomous pieces and inefficient. Intermediate production is cut off from the final. From here deindustrialization, degradation of science and education. As a result, the national economic value-added multiplier is 7-10 times lower than in industrialized countries.
The size of the final product is catastrophically small, and yes even divided in favor of compradors. This is a historically unpromising economic system hostile to Russia. I would like to note: in Russia, now in action all the same reasons that led to the collapse of the USSR. All of them boil down to the denationalization and offshorization of national property, dollar corruption, the supremacy of private interest over the nationwide, the loss of the moral and political unity of the government and the people. Destructive causes are not eliminated, and systemic restrictions have not been removed. On the basis of the oligarchic-comprador property, the accumulation of a critical mass continues to take place, and when reached, a slight shock will suffice for the chain reaction of the collapse of our country.
The internal system crisis will keep Russia on its knees as long as the extraction of raw materials is disconnected from its maximum and high-tech industrial processing into finished products with high added value. But to unite both sectors of the domestic industry, to harness them into a single harness, and only the common for them, integrated property can make the driving force for the rise of the entire national economy. In turn, to ensure their coordinated and coordinated work on the final result in a state only a planning and economic system, brought into line with the law of vertical integration and the principle of consensus planning.
Any systemic crisis is resolved only by eliminating the old economic system, the reactionary, and the establishment of a new, historically progressive one. There is no other way out of it.
Russia is somehow doomed to a new solution to the issue of property and its political and economic system. All that matters is how the country achieves a historically correct decision - predominantly evolutionary or revolutionary, “from above” or “from below”, or with a simultaneous political renewal of the “lower ranks” and “upper strata”. The outcome depends, as teaches история, on the degree of correspondence between objective and subjective factors.
It seems that the fundamental reasons are outlined enough. Among the immediate ones, it is necessary to single out: a fall in export volumes, the appearance of the effect of negative elasticity of export demand for price, the intensification of capital export abroad, a deterioration in return on investment, a double bias of profitability that paralyzes the production of investment goods and reduces the accumulation fund.
The monthly dynamics of Russian exports since the second half of 2012 has been mostly negative. Why? It's not about pricing. For oil and gas, they are comparable to last year’s, for example, for oil - 106 and 108 dollars per barrel. Metal prices have fallen, but the share of metals is not so large as to bring down the entire export dynamics. Obviously, a certain new factor has appeared, since high prices for oil and gas do not pull up the GDP.
And indeed, such a factor exists. This is the negative elasticity of export demand at a price from the EU countries. The higher the price, the lower the EU demand for our hydrocarbon raw materials. The only exception is the fourth quarter of the year when fuel supplies are needed. The remaining three quarters of the year give a negative elasticity. Bottom line: right now the physical volumes of gas exports to foreign countries, mainly to the EU, are almost 1,5 times lower than those of 2007. The volumes of oil exports are also lower. Given the decline in the volume of metallurgical exports, it is quite clear why raw materials exports have ceased to be a source of GDP growth.
- Is it temporary or long-term?
- Long-term, seriously and for a long time. I remember that on the radio we, Marat Mazitovich, even at the beginning of 2009 discussed the shifts in the EU energy balance, the prospects for post-oil energy and waste recycling technologies, including metal, plastic, etc. Then it seemed that the EU would need 5-7 for years, so that these changes would allow to maneuver demand for the purchase of oil and gas from Russia. However, the Europeans managed faster, in 4 of the year. Now they have significant sources of import substitution for oil and gas raw materials - in the amount of 15-20%. Thanks, by the way, to neo-industrial development, which accelerates the development of post-oil and recycling technologies, allowing you to increase the savings in labor, energy and resources.
Undoubtedly, the effect of negative elasticity on price in subsequent years will only increase. This is convincingly shown by recent analytical data on the German energy sector.
The fact is a fact: a directly proportional relationship between the prices of commodity exports and Russian GDP is broken. It can no longer be connected, and it is not in the power of Russia. High prices for oil and gas now do not guarantee an increase in GDP, while their decline guarantees a decline in the domestic economy.
- Hence your conclusion about the default of the export-raw material model?
- I guess, yes. However, the situation has worsened. Unlike 2008, now all the conditions are created for default in the full sense of the word. Foreign debt is almost 200 billion more than all Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves (700 billion against 500 billion). The notorious "airbag" has become a fiction: it is not enough even to cover external debt. Life has led to the collapse of the policy adopted since the establishment of the stabilization fund. It is necessary to stress again and again: this is the fund and the policy of stabilizing the dollar at the expense of the ruble. The line imposed by Washington and promoted by A. Kudrin initially contradicted the interests of our country. The main guarantee of Russia's security is the work of Russia on itself, and not on the US dollar.
- And what about the export of capital?
- Here are a few points of principle. First: the volume of export of capital from Russia is now 2 times higher than in 2010. The second: the Central Bank of the Russian Federation incorrectly estimates the amount of export of capital, which is why the figure is underestimated 3,5 times. According to an accurate estimate, over the past 9,5 years, almost 1 trillion has been pumped out of Russia. For comparison: this is 1,5 times more than those 20 trillion. rubles, which are intended to modernize the Armed Forces in the period before 2020. And the third point: the export of capital means a foreign trade imbalance in which the country loses its technological investments, i.e. new workplaces. In fact, in 9,5 years, our country has presented the West with over 5 million new, high-tech jobs. But she did not receive them, and continues to miss.
Nowadays, questions are often heard: where to get money for a new industrialization? Such a statement is fundamentally wrong. With the comprador system there is no place to take them. But if it were a planned system, they simply would not need to be taken from somewhere, because they would remain in Russia and work for Russia.
- Among the reasons you mentioned the deterioration of the return on investment and the double bias of profitability ...
- In the first half of the year, the total amount of profits dropped sharply - by about 20%. An even deeper decline in profitability in the manufacturing industry. The rate of return here is below the interest rate. Such a correlation eliminates the payback of technological investments, reduces the accumulation fund, as a result of which it only aggravates the general decline.
Regarding the double bias of profitability: the rate of profit of speculative capital on exchange transactions is many times higher than the profitability of not only the manufacturing, but even the mining industry. Therefore, the overflow does not come from a branch into a branch within a national economy, but from a national economy abroad. Bottom line: Russia remains without capital investment, without new jobs, steeped in deindustrialization and underdevelopment. This is also evidence of the default of the raw material export model.
Actually, the default of the raw materials export model is the direct cause of the autonomous recession of Russia, which began with 2013.
- What are the immediate prospects?
- The recession in industrialized countries is delayed, as our calculations show, at least until the middle of 2014. Therefore, the fall in commodity prices in the coming months is unlikely. In the fourth quarter, the effect of negative elasticity will disappear for a while, the volume of exports will increase slightly and pull in GDP. But this will only last until the beginning of 2014. Further statistical growth will again be supported by foreign exchange reserves, but they will be enough for no more than 1,5 year. It is possible that towards the end of 2014, another global recession will break out. If Russia happens to meet it with an export-raw material model, then the system-economic crisis will lead to a budget default and will result in an internal political one.
Based on the fact of an autonomous recession, the choice is already small and boils down to one of two things: either remove the systemic constraints of development, turning to vertical integration of property, or continue to pile them up, engaging in a deliberately reanimation of the raw materials export model in order to preserve comprador property. The first path leads to victory, and the second - to defeat, which for Russia is historically unacceptable.