The Institute of International Finance looks much better at the prospects of the Russian economy than other organizations. The Washington Institute of International Finance (IIF) sharply improved its forecast for the Russian economy. Its experts revised estimates of the fall in GDP in 2020 from minus 4.8% to 3.6%, follows from the organization's report (Izvestia studied it). In 2021, IIF expects more vigorous growth than all other leading financial and economic organizations: the economy is forecast to accelerate to 3.9%. In fact, this means the so-called V-shaped recovery. The experts generally agreed with the assessments, noting that much will depend on the recovery of the population's income. Fell, did not hurt.
The contraction of Russian GDP in 2020 will be softer than expected and much less dramatic than in other countries, IIF experts said in a report on Russian macroeconomics. The volume of gross product in developing countries (excluding China) will fall by 5.5% on average last year, in developed countries - by more than 6%. The fall in Russia's GDP was slowed down by the country's stable financial system and the predominance of state-owned enterprises in the economy, which are less affected by the crisis. IIF predicts a 3.6% decline in the core indicator by the end of 2020. In October, the institute had expected a fall of 4.8%.
So far, estimates of the Russian economy from IIF for 2021 are also very optimistic. The Institute predicts a "relatively strong" rebound in GDP of 3.9% for this year. The improvement in assessments is primarily due to extremely loyal anti-pandemic restrictions, which made it possible to maintain business activity during the autumn coronavirus outbreak, despite the increase in the number of cases. Top of optimism.
So far, the IIF estimates of the Russian economy are the most optimistic of all those made by the leading international financial and economic organizations. The World Bank (WB) expected that by the end of last year, Russia's GDP would fall by 4%. This is the December forecast, in September the World Bank predicted a decrease of 5%. The improvement in the organization was attributed to a higher-than-expected level of economic activity in the third quarter due to the easing of restrictions and the launch of economic stimulus. In 2021, the World Bank expects an increase in Russian GDP by 2.6%.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to the latest forecast made in October, estimates the fall of the Russian economy by 4.1% in 2020. In 2021, the fund expects to grow by 2.5%. The rating agencies Fitch, S&P and Moody's estimate the decline in GDP in 2020 at 3.7%, 3.5% and 5.5%, respectively. A much more negative assessment of the latter is explained by the fact that the forecast was made in August, while the first two have updated their indicators in recent months. Agency forecasts for 2021 are 3%, 2.9% and 2.3%. IIF estimates are even more optimistic than the expectations of the Russian authorities. The Ministry of Economic Development predicted a drop in GDP of 3.9% in 2020. Growth of 3.3% is expected in 2021. Similar estimates from the Central Bank - minus 4% and plus 3-4%. Beyond geopolitics. The IIF notes that although geopolitical risks for the Russian Federation remain high, its vulnerability to external factors is quite low. In particular, the expansion of sanctions against Nord Stream 2, approved in the US defense budget, will hit the stability of the Gazprom corporation rather than the Russian economy. The failure of the project is fraught with losses of $ 11 billion for the state company, but this does not pose a significant threat to gas supplies to Europe. The Russian Federation is also insensitive to other types of sanctions due to its low public debt and accumulated reserves.
The climate agreement could have a much more significant effect on the Russian economy. In particular, its main provision on the carbon tax will negatively affect the export of gas, oil and metals from the Russian Federation to the EU. At the moment, the estimate of GDP in 2020, in fact, is not a subject of discussion - the decline over the past 11 months amounted to 3.5% year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Economics, said Natalia Orlova, chief economist of Alfa-Bank.
The softer anti-coronavirus restrictions compared to Europe are indeed cause for optimism about the economy, she agreed. In addition, in Russia, there are much fewer small and medium-sized businesses - the sector most vulnerable to recession, the expert added. In addition, if earlier in the Russian Federation outbound tourism prevailed over domestic, then last year the flows of tourists, traditionally going abroad, were redistributed throughout the country and generated additional demand, noted Natalia Orlova. The duties on the import of Russian oil, gas and metals associated with the climate agreement will increase their value by about $ 5-6 billion. But since today exports are about 400 billion, there is little threat to the competitiveness of Russian raw materials in foreign markets, the expert concluded. Statements that the Russian economy is healthier can hardly be called scientifically substantiated - it has a completely different structure, believes Alexander Shirov, deputy director of the Institute of Economic Forecasting, RAS. If a sharp decline begins in Europe, this will entail our country, for example, in the mechanical engineering segment. The main risks of a slowdown in the economy in 2021, in his opinion, are not so much in sanctions, but in stagnation of mortgage lending compared to 2020, as well as in a decrease in household income and business revenue.