The Russian economy. Does thaw succeed winter?

On 3 March, 2017 the Finam news agency held online conference dedicated to the development prospects of the Russian economy in 2017. The conference was attended by representatives of the academic community, representatives of banking institutions and think tanks, as well as by the EDSG experts.

During the discussion, a question was raised about the impact of Western sanctions on the Russian economy. According to experts, the effect depends to a high degree on the sector. In terms of investments the sanctions adversely effect primarily on the sector of mining. Western companies engaged in projects in the field of unconventional oil withdrew from Russia, as far as their supply of equipment for the development of projects was banned.

In the industries, generating a high added value, which are dependent on imports of high technologies, the number of investment projects has also decreased. First of all, the reduction was due to a weak ruble. Experts believe that the lifting of sanctions will help such enterprises not only in terms of improving the number of external factors, but also in terms of increased competition, which can stimulate the improvement of the quality of products and services.

Experts also discussed the decision of the Ministry of finance regarding the Federal loan bond (FLB). Experts suggets that this is not accidental. On the one hand, rates on deposits in commercial banks is lower than FLB rates. On the other hand, the dollar and the euro fall, making the ruble attractive. However, the prevailing situation is unlikely to substantially meet the expectations of the Ministry of Finance. The memories of the crisis are still fresh.

In conclusion, the experts discussed the Ruble dynamics in 2017. If the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil will be in the range of 54 rubles. In this case the dollar price should not exceed 63 Rubles per unit of US currency. The Russian currency should not fall substantially because of high real interest rates.