On Friday Rosstat published its data package for May. The major indicators are as follows.
The unemployment rate edged down to 4.9% (from 5.3% in April and vs. the 5.2% Bloomberg consensus) while SA UR was unchanged at 5.2%.
Fixed capital investments: -2.6% YoY (-2.7% and -3.3%).
Retail sales: +2.1 % YoY (+2.7% (slightly revised up from 2.6%) and +2.7%).
Construction: -5.4% YoY (-2.8% a month ago).
New houses: +35.8% YoY (15.8% a month ago).
Real wages growth: +5.0% YoY (+0.8% and +1.5%).
Although the May statistics package was affected by favourable calendar factors, the downward trend in private consumption was vivid. As for investment activity, there are few reasons to believe in any improvement on the supply-related side. Thus, given the gathering pace of manufacturing output, the supply-demand dichotomy expanded further. As for the near-term outlook, deteriorating local demand is unlikely to turn around any time soon as major fundamentals (retail lending and the labour market) are set to go downhill, while stagnant IP will likely return to the spotlight once temporary drivers fade. To recap, the economy is not on the CBR’s radar for now.
Vladimir Kolychev, Daria Isakova
VTB Capital analyst
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