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April industrial production and statistics report


The April IP data is due out on 22 or 23 May, according to Rosstat’s official schedule. The monthly raft of economic statistics for last month, which includes data on growth in real retail sales, fixed capital investment, real and nominal wages, and the unemployment rate, is set to be published on 23–27 May. Also, Rosstat is to release the weekly CPI data for 14–20 May on Wednesday.

The economic data for April will be important for the CBR’s monetary policy decision in June. The tight labour market, still strong lending growth, and April’s pick-up in the headline CPI seem to be the last hurdles in the way for an across the board rate cut. Hence, the core indicator to watch this week is the unemployment rate. We maintain our view that SA unemployment is set to grow on subdued economic growth.

On the production front, we expect IP growth to decelerate slightly from March’s jump but stay positive. The rebounding growth in the output of gas, electricity and construction materials looks supportive for the IP reading. However, we do not expect to see additional support from manufacturing industries in April.

As for local demand, the 8% decline in car sales last month implies that the overall trend for weak consumer data will remain in place. However, in April we might see investment growth tick up as non-CIS imports data showed imports of investments goods accelerating over the previous month.

Overall, we expect the April data, supported by colder weather and an additional working day, to be just slightly weaker than that in March, confirming the overall below potential growth dynamics.

This week, the release of the weekly CPI might bring relief as consensus expects it to be the first week when the acceleration of vegetable prices is lower than in 2012. To recap, the growth in vegetable prices was the key CPI driver in April and the first half of May. For the full month, we expect disinflation in the headline reading (to 7.0–7.1% YoY, from 7.2% YoY in April).

Maxim Oreshkin, Daria Isakova
VTB Capital analyst

Rosstat, CPI, CBR

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