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Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said that his department has increased the forecast for inflation in the Russian Federation for the current year from 5.8 to 7.4%. Experts interviewed by Izvestia believe that high inflation is a problem not only for Russia, but for the whole world. The strengthening of the ruble will be able to slow down the rise in prices, they stressed.

Worldwide practice

The main contribution to the rise in prices at the moment is made by food inflation, said Maxim Reshetnikov. According to the Ministry of Economics, over the year, vegetables have risen most of all: cabbage (by 81.5%), potatoes (by 59.1%), carrots (by 35%) and tomatoes (by 31.3%).

High inflation is now a problem not only for Russia, but for the whole world, Olga Belenkaya, head of the macroeconomic analysis department of the financial group Finam, told Izvestia. “In 2020–2021, governments and central banks of the largest countries took unprecedented measures to stimulate economic demand – and demand, as lockdowns were lifted, recovered faster than opportunities to adequately increase supply. On the other hand, the pandemic and lockdowns to contain it have led to disruptions to the normal operation of production and supply chains.As a result, business production costs are growing at a record pace, and companies are transferring them to selling prices, ”the expert said.

According to her, disruptions in logistics, rising world prices for food and raw materials, a multiple increase in the cost of sea container transportation, a shortage of labor, and now also an energy crisis are all factors of inflation on the supply side.

Photo: TASS / Yuri Smityuk

Ekaterina Kosareva, managing partner of the analytical agency WMT Consult, also believes that the matter is mainly in the decline in economic demand around the world. “The pandemic has made its own adjustments to forecasts for economic growth and other macro indicators. Therefore, it is not surprising that forecasts are now being revised, and quite often. This is not a problem of the Ministry of Finance or the Central Bank. It is currently difficult for all economic departments of the world to maintain relatively low rates of price growth, ”said Ekaterina Kosareva.

Food prices

In September, the acceleration of inflation in Russia was most clearly influenced by the rise in prices for food products – by 0.99% month-on-month, or by 9.21% in annual terms, Olga Belenkaya calculated for Izvestia.

“In addition to the rise in prices for fruits and vegetables too early for this time of year (tomatoes rose in price by 24.9%, cucumbers – by 17.3%, oranges – by 12.9%), high rates of price growth were observed for meat and dairy products, pasta, chicken eggs. This could have been influenced by an increase in world prices for food products: in September, the FAO (UN) index continued to grow (+ 1.2% per month and + 32.8% per year), mainly due to an increase in prices for most cereals and vegetable crops. butter, prices for dairy products and sugar have increased, ”she stressed.

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Photo: Izvestia / Dmitry Korotaev

In addition, problems with the harvest in Russia may affect, Olga Belenkaya added. “According to Rosstat, from January to August the volume of production decreased by 3.4%, and in August – by 10.1% compared to last year. Rosstat explains this by the later than last year, the beginning of harvesting. Grain harvest is 12.6% lower than in August last year, ”said the expert.

What about import

Inflation cannot be contained at the required level, because it does not depend 100% on the policy of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, says Andrey Vernikov, head of the investment analysis and training department at Univer Capital.

“A significant part of it is of an ‘imported’ nature. For example, Russia imports many types of food that are not produced in sufficient quantities in our climate. If we take the FAO Food Price Index (FAPI) as a base, it can be seen that over the year, food prices in the world have increased by about 33%. The situation is approximately the same for other groups of goods. Russia also exports a huge amount of goods. At the same time, last year the Russian government did not react promptly to the growth of exports of goods such as sunflower oil. These products were exported, and the domestic market was impoverished. Because of this, prices rose on the domestic market, ”said Andrey Vernikov. However, this year the government introduced export quotas and it was the right decision, he added.

Non-food products

Olga Belenkaya also calculated for Izvestia that the rise in prices for non-food products slowed down slightly compared to August – by 0.64% month-on-month against 0.80% in August, but accelerated to 8.06% over the year. “The slowdown in price growth is partly due to the cheapening of gasoline, besides, construction materials are getting cheaper, which in spring – early summer were growing at an outstripping pace.

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Photo: RIA Novosti / Maxim Blinov

However, the growth leaders are again passenger cars and tires for them, television, radio and electrical goods, in addition, there is a seasonal increase in prices for clothing and footwear. This is affected by the lack of supply – a shortage of chips leads to a reduction in the production of cars and electronics.

According to the AEB, passenger car sales in Russia fell 22.6% year-on-year in September amid a decline in production and a shortage of semiconductors worldwide. In addition, the demand for non-food products is supported by strong growth in retail lending and, to some extent, one-off budget payments in August-September.“, – said the expert.

Olga Orlova, Head of Industry at the Institute of Oil and Gas Technologies, agrees that gasoline prices have contributed to a decrease in the rise in prices for non-food products. “There is an unprecedented situation – toit is very difficult to drink a car for various reasons even in Moscow. People have been waiting for their cars for months, and their prices are growing by leaps and bounds, especially the prices for additional equipment for new cars, ”the expert emphasized.

Expert forecasts

At the end of the year, Olga Belenkaya expects “a slight decrease in annual inflation – to about 6.9%; next year, the return to the budgetary rule and the effect of tightening the monetary policy of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation should have a disinflationary effect.” “The strengthening of the ruble, which is facilitated by the increase in the key rate of the Central Bank and high prices for Russian export goods on world markets, may also slow down the rise in prices,” she added.

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Photo: IZVESTIYA / Konstantin Kokoshkin

According to Olga Belenkaya, there are still hopes for a decrease in inflation by the end of next year to 4–4.5%, but much will depend on the global situation.

Andrey Vernikov, in turn, doubts the achievement of the 4% level. “Inflation is likely to decrease due to the high base effect and by the end of the year it will be around 5.5%. At the next meeting of the Central Bank, the regulator will raise the rate, probably by 50 bp, and the regulator’s efforts to curb inflation will begin to bear fruit. In the first quarter of 2022, inflation will begin to slow down. At the same time, inflationary expectations have grown strongly in the world, especially among the aged population, and it will not be possible to quickly reverse these sentiments, ”he said.

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