Rus News Journal

The IMF predicts high growth in Russia

But for a short while
the international financial organisations

On Friday Moscow there has left mission of the International currency fund (IMF), studying throughout a week a macroeconomic situation and a course of structural reforms in Russia. Conclusions basically optimistic - gross national product growth this year will make 6,25 %. But the fund continues to connect successes of the Russian economy first of all with the high prices for oil and warns about danger of softening of a budgetary policy and marking time in sphere of structural reforms.
last mission of the IMF which has visited Moscow from October, 2 till October, 10th within the limits of rendering of the technical help, first of all has noticed that the macroeconomic situation in Russia continues to improve. Under the forecast of its employees, growth in 2003 will make not less than 6,25 %. So obvious optimism of mission of fund is remarkable. As a rule, forecasts of IMF concerning economic growth in Russia lag behind internal estimations on 1 - 1,5 %. Moreover, the Russian prime minister Michael Kasyanov while is much more constrained. Under its forecasts, gross national product this year will grow a maximum on 6 %. Though the difference in estimations is not too great (for comparison, in the first half of the year growth has exceeded 7 %), nevertheless for the first time analysts from IMF have outstripped the colleagues from the White house on Krasnopresnensky quay. Are happy in IMF and the balance of payments of Russia (see from October, 8th) that also it is no wonder - proficiency of balance for first nine months has exceeded $37 billion There was it possible, naturally, at the expense of growth of export more than on 24 %. And, for example, in the USA all is equal on the contrary. And so that financial US authorities try to find extreme in China which authorities strenuously underestimate a yuan exchange rate that gives them possibilities to increase export of goods in the USA.
quite support in IMF and the planned rates of inflation in 2004 - 8 - 10 %. However, thus underline that all is better - taki 8 %, instead of 10 %. It is pleasant to IMF and decision of the Russian government to create stabilisation fund (in Washington, actually, for a long time spoke about its necessity) where state incomes of oil export will collect at the price above $20 for barrel. At last, fund mission has expressed special satisfaction concerning assignment of Russia an investment rating that wonderfully happens during its stay in Moscow. In this connection in fund believe that frightened portfelnyh investors unexpectedly high in the third quarter pure outflow of the capital - $7,7 mlrd - will come to naught in the near future. However, one rating as fairly believe in IMF, for this purpose insufficiently. It is necessary to hold an election and to toughen the monetary policy.
however to do a conclusion that the economic policy of the Russian government and the Central Bank to the full corresponds to IMF parametres, obviously prematurely if at all when - nibud it becomes possible. IMF mission is disturbed first of all by easing monetary - credit and budgetary - a tax policy. For example, last decision of the government according to which the account part of the budget - 2003 in case of approval by the State Duma will grow more than on 69 mlrd rbl. This money was necessary for the federal government basically for rendering assistance to the regions which are not coping with a problem of increase of salaries to the state employees, and also the landowners who have suffered in last year from an unexpected big crop for them. And though half of this sum are a lifeless money, that is the budgetary loans not returned in time, IMF absolutely obosnovanno disturbs growth of not percentage expenses on budget course of execution. The budget of 2004 also does not differ rigidity. In fund understand that it is caused first of all by the political reasons - a train of elections. But nevertheless urgently recommend to the government and Central Bank to toughen budgetary - a tax policy. Otherwise they will not manage to keep the set rates of inflation, to slow down growth of a real rouble exchange rate that, in turn, will slow down export growth, and accordingly, and proficiency of the balance of payments. Of inflation indicators in IMF think much. As a rule, at its such rates as now in Russia, difficultly really to count on considerable investment and economic growth. However, in Russia happens and on the contrary. High rates of an investment demand and gross national product growth in the first half of the year were combined with high rates of inflation.
in IMF warn that till now growth to Russia and stability of its budgetary system appreciably are based on the high oil prices. In 2004 when, according to fund, the prices will decrease, growth in Russia will decrease to 5 %. And with such rates to double gross national product by 2010 obviously it will not be possible. Besides, high rates of increase of gross national product can become impossible as it is underlined in the mission report, and from - that the Russian government and the Central Bank do not hurry up to carry out structural reforms, especially in bank sphere, in natural monopolies, and also in the field of a state administration and civil service.
it is difficult to name conclusions of mission of IMF unexpected. Similar statements were done repeatedly by the adviser of the president Andrey Illarionov. The sluggishness of structural reforms, and also necessity of an urgent diversification of economy repeatedly marked Michael Kasyanov and Herman Gref. The Ministry of Finance, in turn, does not intend to spend spare cash for not percentage expenses at all. Nevertheless the situation (especially in sphere of structural reforms), noted in last report of mission of IMF, essentially does not change last two years.
KONSTANTIN - SMIRNOV