Real retail sales recovered on reviving growth in food component
Russia’s economy ended 2012 on a slow note. Fixed capital investment growth dipped into the red, while real wages and industrial production growth slid to its lowest level since autumn 2009. On a positive note, we highlight the small uptick in last month’s retail sales and the persistently tight labour market. Last month’s data on wages and investments was heavily impacted by the base effect, thus we prefer not to pay much attention to the huge swings in the indicators. Moreover, the recovery in retail sales growth rates in the past few months, in our view, was mainly driven by the recovery in food sales, as price pressures in the segment have abated. In such an environment, we believe that muted growth and disinflation trends are set to remain in place and trigger monetary policy easing in a few months.
Maxim Oreshkin, Daria Isakova
VTB Capital analyst
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