Russia is getting accustomed to stagnation

The crisis canceled out all the previous results: in 2000-2016, the Russian economy has grown less than the global one.
The Russian economy is completing a two-year decline. Although he was relatively shallow - for the 2015-2016 biennium. slightly more than 4%, - lost a lot more.

Only to overcome the two-year recession will need at most three years, it follows from the Economic Development Ministry forecast. The best scenario is a consistent increase in oil prices to $ 55 / bbl. in 2019 .: Then to top economy in 2020 will return to the level of 2014, but its growth rate slowed down even before the crisis, and in 2013 accounted for just over 1% for oil almost twice as much as in this optimistic scenario, the Economic Development Ministry. Since 2010, the pace of the Russian economy have become chronically lag behind the world (except for 2012), as a result of the last 10 years the gap has accumulated more than two-fold: to 2007, the global economy, according to IMF data, grew by 38%, and Russia - less than 16%. In the first decade of the century, Russia, by contrast, grew 1.5 times faster than the world in general, even with the deep recession in 2009

However, the past few years, and these results are dashed. Based on data from the IMF, from 2000 to 2016, the world economy grew by 89%. And Russia - by 85.6%.

The problems of low growth

In the future, the gap is likely to grow: the world economic growth of about 3% in the coming years the growth potential of Russia is limited, the IMF and the Central Bank is estimated to 1-1.5%, according to Ministry of Economic Development - 2%. The market is also dominated by expectations of a modest growth in Russia - by 1-1.5% in the next two years, according to Bloomberg consensus.

In recent months, entrenched stagnant dynamics of the economy, says the head of analysis and forecasting CMASF Dmitry Belousov, "We are in stagnation, long and sticky." Investments are stagnating, the trade turnover - followed by the real wage - the same; All major markets are. And in retail in 2015 continued decline in food sales at the stagnation of non-food goods sales: the population was divided - there is a large segment of the poor, saving even on food, and more or less secured, concludes Belousov. The growth of inequality are quite formidable challenges, he said.

Tactically, the problem is that the low growth rate of the state and the community resources are not enough to solve the major social problems, poverty alleviation and infrastructure development; strategically slow growth means that resources are not enough for the technological modernization of production, which will lead to a gradual loss of the technological groundwork, human capital, competitiveness, to destabilize the balance of payments and the ruble exchange rate lists Belousov.

Preparatory year

2016 was a turning point for monetary policy: inflation due to weak demand and tough policy of the Central Bank fell to historic minimum. As the Ministry of Economic Development expects, at the end of 2016 it will be 5.6%. The purpose of the Central Bank - 4% in 2017 - the first time entered the zone of visibility. But it has yet to achieve, and most importantly - support to the declared level. The achievement is still not obvious (the consensus forecast of the Center for the HSE - 5% in 2017, Bloomberg - 5,1%, including in the IV quarter of 2017 - 4.5%). Among the risks caused by internal factors, like the psychological - the inertia of inflation expectations, as well as political - increase in budget expenditures.

Fiscal policy is back after a year hiatus to the three-year planning. Prepared and approved a three-year fiscal consolidation plan to reduce the deficit in 2020 to 1.2% of GDP. However, this year once again demonstrated how unpredictable fiscal policy can be: at the end of the year on defense spending, despite the drop in budget revenues and austerity at all, were increased by 1% of GDP by increasing the budget deficit. Realistic three-year consolidation plan in doubt, believe the experts of the Center for the HSE: costs are increasing risks (such as defense), the displacement of productive spending on education and health care, shortage of debt and income. In addition, the decision of complex issues - the balance of regional budgets, the pension system, health care funding - postponed for later.

A precedent in 2016 was the government's refusal to statutory social guarantees - indexing pensions by inflation of the previous year. Too big a jump in inflation in 2015 - by 12.9% - to compensate for the budget could not: each percentage point is worth it about 36 billion rubles. Taking into account a lump sum of 5,000 rubles., That pensioners will receive in January, the indexation of pensions in 2016 was only about 5.6% (in annual terms). With the 2017 indexation of pensions for inflation to resume, but the precedent is well within the new trend to limit social spending and their partial shifting to the citizens themselves, these processes will continue to grow. Thus, indexation of pensions working pensioners and suspended for future years, and the formation of their rights in the pension system too low (for a year of work it is charged a maximum of 3 points at the maximum 10 points for citizens); suspended indexation of maternity capital is limited - public sector wages. Ministry of Labor raised the issue of self-financing of the formally non-working citizens of their expenses for medical services in the CHI system, the Ministry of Finance has once again offered to raise the retirement age. In anticipation of the new budget cycle offers various options such as saving on social articles, as well as increasing the tax burden on citizens (personal income tax, "tax maneuver" with a reduction in premiums and an increase in VAT - indirect tax actually paid by consumers).

Within the next 1.5-2 years the political mood in the Kremlin will be determined by the upcoming presidential elections in 2018, this event will mark and the timing of important economic reforms, including fiscal, tax and pensions, according to BCS chief economist Vladimir Tikhomirov. In all likelihood, most controversial or politically controversial proposals will be promoted by the Kremlin after the election, he expects.

To grow

Even in 2011-2012. the government and the Kremlin has expressed concern over the slowing economy, pointing to a desired rate of annual growth of 4%. This is higher than the growth of the world economy, ie, helping to reduce the gap in living standards with the developed countries..; and this pace, which provides revenues that are sufficient for the development and fulfillment of social obligations. Now, with limited finances and slow economic recovery, provided only pursuant to the minimum social obligations, Ministry of Economic Development expects the next three years. Go to stagnation spawned an unexpected effect - it is nestled in the minds: all the official long-term forecasts is nothing more than 2% per annum not promise wonders Belousov. To solve the problems of the country, we need growth of at least 4.5%, he says, when the rate drops below, some tasks are given to the expense of others.

"Economic development is not, and Minister of Economic Development in front of you", - confessed to investors Alexei Ulyukayev autumn 2013 autumn 2016 the economy for some time left without the Minister of Economic Development, whose arrest was one of the major mysteries of the year. The new Minister Maxim Oreshkin instructed to undertake the strengthening of the role of the Ministry as a center for the upcoming socio-economic reforms. On the eve of elections President again instructed to prepare an action plan to increase the pace of the economy higher than the average; A new strategy, which under the direction of Alexei Kudrin is preparing a group of experts with the involvement of officials should be ready by the end of spring. Previous - "Strategy-2020" - is made less than 30%, counted Center for Strategic Research.

The economic structure is almost unchanged since Soviet times, it is dominated by the primary sector and the defense industry, and more than half the country's population is directly dependent on the state as the main source of income, says Tikhomirov. Such structural weaknesses make the Russian economy dependent on raw material markets and the political preferences of the government. Both of these factors are difficult to predict, as a result - the almost complete absence of long-term strategies, as in business, and in the political arena, said Tikhomirov. From time to time the strategy is constantly being rewritten, or refuse from them soon, the same can be said about the rules of doing business in Russia.