The record industry downturn has delayed the exit of Russia from crisis

In February, Rosstat recorded a decline in the industry at 2.7% (to February 2016), contrary to expectations of economists, who had expected growth of 1%. The February drop was a record for the time of the crisis and completely wiped out the achievements of the Russian enterprises in January, when industrial growth reached 2.3%. According to experts, such “successes” for the industry to talk about the economic recovery in 2017 is too early.


photo: Alex geldings

From official statistics it is apparent that most of February slipped to mining or minus 6.2% in comparison with January, more than 10% drop in the manufacture of clothing and plastics, glass — 11.6%, building blocks — by 15.6%, batteries — by 25.4%, and gas turbines — almost twice. In addition, according to February last year, the collapse showed the manufacturing industry, i.e. production of goods of daily demand (-5,1%) — ranging from food and ending with household chemicals.

Partly the decline is explained by the calendar factor: in February 2017 were two working days less than in leap year 2016. However, even taking into account calendar adjustments compression of production amounted to 1.5% and was the highest since the end of 2015. This situation is categorically not satisfied almost half of domestic production.

According to the HSE survey among top managers of big business, the main problem hindering industrial growth, business leaders called the lack of paying customers. About the lack of demand claiming 51% of respondents, and 39% complain of high taxes and costs, which is not enough money for modernization of production facilities. In addition, in recent time, the growing shortage of personnel in high-tech industries: 34% of companies in the sector of production of machinery and equipment lack of qualified staff.

Meanwhile, the industrial recession was a complete surprise for the economy. Based on the January surge in demand and production, analysts and officials of the economic block expected in the current year GDP growth at 2%. However, the estimation of the index of industrial optimism of Institute for economic policy. Gaidar in March 2017 indicate that the dynamics of demand, triggered by disposable pension payments in January, Industrialists greatly overestimated and are now faced with the problem of marketing.

However, analysts note that the February statistics index of industrial production was not without sharp differences. For example, the manufacturing industry fell at an annual rate, but almost the same amount increased month-on-month. “This trend is alarming because the domestic production does not keep up with demand, with limited import, — says senior analyst “Alpari” Anna Bodrov. This factor may subsequently increase inflation contrary to the policies of the Central Bank”. The words of the interlocutor of “MK”, changes in indicators of industrial production show how difficult the real sector to survive in the absence of stable orders, upgrade facilities and loans available.

Without industrial growth, the exit from the economic crisis is problematic, experts believe. “By itself, the industrial production may show very mixed results on a monthly basis even in a moderate economic growth. But sooner or later the lack of support for GDP by industry will reduce the possibility of strengthening growth. To industry produced, she must imagine the final stable demand, and it is almost impossible, while every third Russian lives on the minimum possible amount of income,” — says Anna Bodrov.