The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation lowered the estimates of the country’s economic growth on 2015. If a new forecast is approved by the government, there will be a necessity to revise the next-year draft budget. However, the authorities are not going to decline the budget rule.
According to the updated forecast, almost all the key indicators are lowered. Thus, the main economic indicator, GDP growth rate, is twice lowered – from 2% to 1%. However, due to the sharp deterioration in the investment climate, even the 1% growth may be considered as a quite optimistic development scenario.
The ministry lowered the estimate of retail sale growth to 0,6% from the earlier forecasted 2,1%, actual personal income – to 0,4% from 1,3% and actual earnings to 0,2 from 1,9%.
Inflation forecast on 2015 was by contrast increased. As for the ministry’s estimates, this indicator will amount to 6,5% in the next year, whereas it was forecasted to reach 5%.
At the same time the governmental agency saved the forecast for such indicators as the oil price and the ruble’s rate to dollar. Thus, the Ministry of Economic Development is still expecting the oil price to dip not lower than USD 100 per barrel and the ruble’s rate to dollar -not lower than 37 rubles per dollar. Nevertheless, Alexey Moiseyev, deputy Minister of Finance, stated that this oil price forecast is quiet overestimated. According to officer, in 2015-2017 it might be noticeably lower than USD 100 per barrel.
The decrease of the main forecast is related to the heightening of geopolitical tension owing to the situation in Ukraine. At the same time the news concerning the liberalization of sanctions on the part of the Western countries have appeared this week. But even under the most favorable outcome for Russia, the sanctions, unlike the way they were imposed, will be called off gradually. In addition, it will take more than a year to the recover the investment climate. According to different forecasts, the capital outflow at the end of current year might reach USD 100 – 200.
Alexey Ulyukayev, the Head of the Ministry, stated that the Russian economy has entered a negative stage of the economic cycle. At the same time he pointed that under existing quality of the institutes, it is impossible to improve the entrepreneurial climate and to entice investors. Significant infrastructure solutions on the part of the state are necessary and more than never effective at the moment.
Within the mobilization of additional income sources to the country’s budget, the Government of the RF introduced a draft bill in the State Duma of the RF, which obliges the Bank of Russia (CB of the RF) to transfer 75% of its net profit to the government revenues on a regular basis.
Today a norm, prescribed in the federal law about the CB of the RF, sets the size of assignments to the budget in the amount of 50% of net profit of the regulator for a financial year, however, it is suspended till the 1st of January 2016. In spite of 50% the CB of the RF has to transfer 75% of revenue, remaining after payment of tax and duties, at year-end 2013 and 2014.
Earlier the proposed bill was passed by the Government Commission for Legislative Drafting Activities.
According to the annual accounts of the Bank of Russia, the revenue of the CB made 129,3 bln RUB at year-end 2013, against 247,3 bln RUB in 2012. Now therefore, the CB of the RF reduced the profit more than in 1,9 times in the previous year. It is worth emphasizing, that in 2012 the sale of shares of Sberbank (the Savings Bank of the RF) had an positive effect on proceeds of the CB, which allowed it to raise additional incomes on the financial market in the amount of 149,7 bln RUB.