We will hit the machinations of the collective West with the economic miracles of the collective Santa Claus! Photo: Vladimir FEDORENKO / RIA Novosti
We asked well-known Russian economists to reflect on this topic.
Our experts: Alexander Safonov, Professor of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Doctor of Economics
Denis Raksha, economist, business coach
Georgy Ostapkovich, Director of the Center for Market Research at the Higher School of Economics
1. What, besides the special military operation in Ukraine, can be called the main event for the country?
– An unconditional positive is how Russia resisted the tough sanctions pressure. In April, the Ministry of Economic Development presented an annual forecast that our economy would collapse by 8-10%, or even 12%. But you see, this did not happen, the fall at the end of the year is only about 3%. The Russian economy has shown stability – that’s good.
– Reduced consumption of our natural resources. It was necessary to find a way to compensate for budget losses due to the reduction in hydrocarbon supplies abroad and to consumers within the country. In addition, due to sanctions, the flow of imports into the country has decreased, and we had to establish our own production of many goods and components.
2. What challenges will we face in 2023?
– First, it is inflation. According to the forecasts of the Central Bank, it will be 5-7%. But now the dollar has begun to strengthen sharply, perhaps the rate will reach up to 80 rubles. If we take into account that the strengthening of the dollar for every 10 rubles adds about one percent to inflation, then we need to add another 2% to those 7% that the Central Bank predicts – I think this will be close to the real value.
Another problem is that we have reduced the number of employed people. Young people leave or go to the NWO, and the generation of 20-30-year-olds are the people who work most productively.
– The main problem is low rates of economic growth. For optimal development of the economy, this figure should be at least 5-6% per year. Unfortunately, in the coming year we will only have to try to restore the volume that we had in 2019. I think economic growth in 2023 will be at the level of 2% per annum.
– Difficulties will cause budget management. Incomes are falling, expenses are rising, all this is quite difficult to predict during the NBO period. But I don’t think it will happen that all funds go to the military-industrial complex. Moreover, at the end of 2022, Vladimir Putin said that we would not engage in the militarization of the economy. That is, we will provide for the defense industry, but we will not abandon market principles in the economy.
I think that inflation will stay within 5-7% (in 2022 it was about 12%. – Ed.). And the Central Bank will not release the dollar rate beyond 85-90 rubles.
In 2023, we can hardly expect extraordinary indexation of pensions and social benefits, as was the case in June 2022.
I think it could happen in 2024 or by the end of 2023.
3. What positive developments can we expect in the coming months?
– I hope that the labor market will stabilize, this is one of the conditions for economic growth. To attract workers to the economy will have to raise wages. This can be done, among other things, by cutting the ultra-high salaries of top managers. As a result, the imbalance will decrease, when some receive much lower than the average salary, while others receive much higher. Top managers will still get a lot, but not as much as they used to.
– I hope that this year the special military operation will end. Ukraine is not able to endure a situation with a completely destroyed economy for a long time, and Western countries are not ready to endlessly finance it in large volumes. Most likely, everything will end with peace negotiations. This will open up opportunities for our economy to work more actively with foreign countries. I expect the return of the Russians who left last year for other countries. For the economy, this is very important, since these are not just working hands, but skilled working hands.
4. For what professions will the year be successful?
– Representatives of industrial professions will be in demand. In 2023, the state defense order will increase, there will be growth in other industries, which means that additional workers will be required. First of all, these are engineers and skilled workers. In addition to industrial workers, health and education workers, domestic staff (nannies, nurses, housekeepers), as well as couriers will be in demand.
But for whom the coming year does not promise much joy – this is for specialists in the field of tourism and recreation. People will save on vacation.
– Engineers and highly skilled workers will be in demand. We will have to develop and sometimes re-create entire industries. This is, in particular, the automotive industry, and within it – engine building, the creation of automotive electronics.
5. What would you advise to invest rubles in?
– If you are not a professional investor, then it is better not to go to the stock market, but to engage in ordinary bank deposits. You can try to send up to 10% of your savings to gold.
– In itself! In their knowledge, skills and qualifications, this will give you the opportunity to feel confident in the labor market.
“The Russian economy is the discovery of the year!”
– Our economy demonstrated stability and a high margin of safety in 2022, and we did not even suspect such a property of it. We are accustomed to believe that it is very dependent on the global economy. But it turned out that it is much more difficult for the world economy to do without Russia than vice versa. Yes, not everything is always smooth, we got car factories, which were also focused on the domestic market, but this did not lead to a disaster. Partially, we made up the deficit at the expense of the Chinese auto industry, partly – at the expense of our own Lads and Gazelles.
The first signs of stability could be seen even during covid, but no one then really appreciated this. For me, the Russian economy has become the Discovery of the Year.
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