The Russian economy bottomed out in May and has since begun to recover. This assessment in an interview with the TV channel RBK gave director of the department of monetary policy of the Central Bank Kirill Tremasov. According to him, the process of economic recovery began in June, but is very heterogeneous.
So, we are talking primarily about the restoration consumer demand, including due to the deferred demand, which has accumulated during the quarantine period, as well as due to measures of budgetary support. “According to our estimates, those payments that came from the budget to households compensated for slightly more than half of the decreased income in the second quarter,” Tremasov said.
In addition, restrictions in the field of international tourism play a role: if last year Russians spent about 800 billion rubles on foreign trips, now a significant part of this money remains inside the country, which also supports consumer demand. However, these factors will be exhausted in the coming months, and instead, support for the economy in 2021 will be provided by the easing of monetary policy.
On July 24, the Bank of Russia once again reduced key rate – to a new all-time low of 4.25 p.p. According to the regulator’s forecast, inflation will return to a rate of about 4% by the end of 2021. GDP by the end of 2020 will decrease by 4.5-5.5%, and in 2021 there will be a recovery growth of 3.5-4.5%.
Cheerful statements by officials are discordant with polls, according to which Russians are already got used to with the fact that the negative impact of the pandemic on the country’s economy will be long-term, therefore, we began to optimize their costs. At the same time, about 17% of Russians are confident that they will never be able to return to the previous volume of spending on food, 16% will need more than a year, and 32% – several months.
As for the cost of clothing and footwear, after the removal of all restrictions on self-isolation, 22% of those surveyed will be ready to renew them in a few weeks, 36% in a few months, 23% only in a year. And 19% of Russians will never be able to afford pre-quarantine spending on clothes and shoes.
At the same time, it turned out that the middle class significantly reduces the cost of travel and durable goods, while the more vulnerable groups with low income are forced to reduce their daily purchases. In addition, a drop in income will inevitably lead to an increase in the costs of mandatory payments (interest on loans, payments for housing and communal services and taxes): for more than 15% of the population, costs will become critical.
Earlier, a lawsuit was filed with the Supreme Court in which it was proposed to extend the “coronavirus payments” to children 16-18 years old: Ombudsman for the rights of the child Anna Kuznetsova also stated that at this age children are still in the care of their parents and do not have the opportunity to find a full-fledged job, and the costs of their maintenance are comparable to those of adults. However, this idea was not supported by either the Ministry of Labor, where Kuznetsova applied, or the Supreme Court.