Rosstat has clarified data on the dynamics of GDP in the first quarter of 2021 – revising the rate of its decline from 1% to 0.7% in annual terms. The reasons for this improvement in the indicator are the revision of data on industrial production (plus 0.4%), on wholesale trade (1.1%), on freight turnover (0.1%) and passenger turnover (0.4%), as well as clarification of the primary statistical reporting of enterprises. and receiving information from the Central Bank.
The contraction of the economy in the first quarter in Rosstat was explained by the continuing coronavirus restrictions and low demand for energy resources in the world – value added primarily decreased in the sectors providing services to citizens and in the mining sector. A slight increase compared to the first quarter of 2020 was observed in processing and construction. Significant (most likely due to the difference in weather conditions) – in the energy sector and housing and communal services. The increase in value added in the financial sector, retail, information and communication sectors does not seem to raise any questions.
In order to demonstrate the picture of economic recovery, Rosstat calculated the change in GDP by the first quarter of 2019 – the indicator increased by 0.7%. However, of the 20 main sectors for which statisticians estimate GDP by the production method by the 2019 base, growth was found only in ten – and the fastest in finance (19.5%) and housing and communal services (9.5%).
Although the authorities are increasingly saying that the economy has reached the pre-crisis level (the Ministry of Economy and the Central Bank note that the economy is growing faster than expected and in July, it is likely that growth forecasts for the year will be raised), Rosstat data have not yet confirmed this. Seasonally adjusted in 2016 prices, GDP in the first quarter of 2021 was 1.9% less than in the first quarter of 2019, 2% less than in the first quarter of 2020, and 0.01% less than in the fourth quarter of 2020. Moreover, the dynamics of the indicator to the average quarterly values of 2016 testifies that, having reached a peak in the second quarter of 2019, the growth rate of the economy was steadily slowing down until the first quarter of 2020. And then, having actually halved from the first to the second quarter of 2020, they stabilized, remaining approximately at the same level in the first quarter of 2021 – between 5% and 6% exceeding the average quarterly indicator of 2016 (see graph). According to the trend, the rates of economic growth continue to decline.