The year 2022 is -2.1%.
In “Russia’s economic contraction last year dampened by government spending”Bofit’s remarks on the y/y figure:
Looking again at the GDP figures by end use, private consumption contracted last year by 1.8%, while government consumption increased by 2.8%. The contraction in private consumption reflects the fall in real incomes (-1% year-on-year). On the other hand, the contraction in retail sales (-6.7%) suggests that the decline should have been more pronounced. We expect some of this confusion to be resolved with the release of 4Q22 numbers. Last year’s nominal growth in public spending (more than 20% according to provisional figures) was exceptionally high. This implies that public spending has increased by almost 10% in real terms. Federal budget spending increased 25% year-on-year. Most of the increase in public sector spending has been in public consumption and public investment.
In other words, in the absence of a substantial increase in government spending, Russian GDP would have fallen much more.
I wonder about the reliability of Rosstat’s figures (reading between the lines, I suspect Bofit does too).
Early Rosstat estimates of GDP by end use are difficult to interpret. Total export and import volume figures are not published, and figures deducted from other components imply about zero net exports last year. This estimate does not correspond to the information available on the value of foreign trade. Preliminary balance of payments figures indicate that the value of total imports contracted by 9% year-on-year, while the value of total exports increased by 14%. According to mirror statistics of Russia’s major trading partners, the value of Russian merchandise imports fell by 23% last year, while the value of merchandise exports increased by 23%.
The chart below shows some of the competing forecasts (OECD from November, World Bank from early January, IMF from late January).
Source: European Council.
To date, the IMF was the closest, but with upcoming data revisions, that may change.