The week ahead in Russia is packed full of macro-relevant events. On the data front, Rosstat is releasing its top tier data, with IP figures scheduled for Wednesday 15 April, and unemployment, retail sales, investment and real wages data due to appear on Friday 17 April. Additionally, Rosstat is to publish its usual weekly CPI growth estimate on Wednesday. The annual live call-in with President Putin is to be broadcast on April 15, starting 12.00 Moscow time, and will also likely feature prominently in the news.
We expect the agenda of the live call-in session with the President to be dominated by internal economic and social issues. With more evidence of the private and public sectors scaling down activity and shedding jobs, issues concerning support for enterprises and employment are likely to come to the forefront. Another set of questions likely to be featured are declining real income-related issues, including the elevated level of headline inflation and tight credit conditions, especially for mortgages. Questions on these issues would provide an opportunity to expound on the general direction and specifics of the Government’s anti-crisis programme.
Meanwhile, internal adjustment is on course in the Russian economy. Consumer confidence data suggests a continuing decline in retail turnover. Household demand will not be helped by the conditions of the labour market, where we expect another uptick in the unemployment rate to 5.5-5.7% SA, and continued pressure on real wages. Deleveraging due to tight credit conditions is also expected to weigh on the investment part of demand, as we are set to witness another month of decline in FAI. Cooling domestic demand has already spilled-over to IP and is expected to drag it down lower to between -1.7 and -1.9% YoY.