HSE experts have found flaws in the data of Rosstat on the economic recovery

According to official data of Rosstat, after falling in January, the Russian economy began to recover. Index of production of basic kinds of economic activities, which evaluated the development Center of the Higher school of Economics using data of Rosstat, in February and March rose 1% after it fell in January by 1.7% (month-to-month corrected for seasonality). The basic industry is agriculture, industry, construction, transportation, wholesale and retail trade, paid services to the population. However, data on the dynamics of basic industries in recent months too unreliable — if you fix the flaws, it turns out that on restoration of economy of the question, to be fresh review of the HSE Comments about the state and business”.

Experts of the “center of development” estimate that in the first quarter of this year economic activity in the basic industries fell 0.5-0.7 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.

“It began to rise in manufacturing industries, increasing agriculture, the financial results of Russian companies last year increased by 53% — said the Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev on April 21 during the report at the government meeting. — This means that there’s resource investment for development. Leading indicators also show signs of recovery in the economy, the index of purchasing managers exceeded 50%”.

Positive dynamics in the economy has largely been made possible due to the improvement in extractive industries and in wholesale trade, estimated by experts of the “center of development”. The mining sector was up 1.5%, mainly due to the “explosive” increase of oil production by 2.9% in February and 0.6% in March, wholesale trade in February rose 4%, no data for March.

But the statistics on wholesale trade is the distrust, the report says. She in recent months characterized by high volatility: in may 2015, began a long stagnation, which was replaced by a 5% increase in December, falling nearly 7% in January and another episode of growth in February. The values of this indicator in the past often radically revised, so HSE experts do not exclude that these drastic fluctuations may eventually “disappear” from the statistics.

In the mining production since 1999, large-scale growth was recorded only three times and each time was followed by a comparable drop. In January 2005, the production jumped by 3.3%, and in January of 2006 decreased by 1.7%. “Most likely, changed the methodology of the account”, — says a leading expert of the “center of development” Nikolay Kondrashov. In March 2013, was recorded an increase of 1.9%, which in April gave way to a contraction of 1.8%. The last episode is not reflected in the statistics CDU TEK Central dispatching management of fuel and energy complex, which independently collects statistics from Rosstat), and now it is so tall in the official statistics, also fixed: according to him, the growth in February was 0.5%.

Overall industrial production for February and March showed an increase of 1% after a slow decline in the second half of 2015, but the manufacturing sector still stagnating: “in March the output of this sector only recovered to the level which persists from may of last year.” “It cannot be excluded that a few months in the index of oil production will be a correction, and at the same time — and in the index of extractive industries, and in the index of industrial production”, — sums up Kondrashov.

If we assume that growth in the production and wholesale trade in fact was not, it turns out that “after reaching a local maximum in September-October 2015, the economy steadily declined, and even growth in March while it is impossible to consider as the fracture of this trend, experts stress the HSE.

Earlier, the Bank disagreed with Rosstat in their assessments of the situation in the industry: the web was estimated in March the dynamics of the sector as a decrease of 0.6%, and the statistical office — like growth of 0.4% (two estimates — a month-to-month). While consumer and investment demand declined, GDP with cleaning from seasonal effect and the effect of “leap year”, according to the Bank, declined to February by 0.4 percent. “March showed that while the fracture dynamics in economic growth to speak prematurely” — wrote in his review of the Bank’s chief economist Andrei Klepach.