Trade surplus in Russia in January 2012 amounted to 20.533 billion U.S. dollars, which is almost 1.5 times more than the same period in 2011, according to the Bank of Russia on the material balance of payments methodology. In January 2011, the figure was 14.009 billion dollars. The positive balance of trade with non-CIS countries in January 2012, according to the Central Bank amounted to 17.781 billion against $ 11.3 billion in January 2011 (an increase of 1.6 times). Balance of trade with the CIS countries amounted to 2.752 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 1.6% compared to January 2011 (2.709 billion dollars).
In January, exports growth in annual terms was 32.2% versus 19.5% in December. Exports in January amounted to 40.128 billion against $ 50.979 billion in December.
Import growth in annual terms amounted to 20% in January versus 12.8% in December. The volume of imports in January amounted to 19.595 billion against $ 30.539 billion in December.
As reported earlier, the Bank of Russia, the trade surplus of the Russian Federation in 2011 amounted to 198.761 billion dollars, which was 1.3 times more than in 2010 (151.681 billion dollars).
Recall that in the middle of last year, economists Development Center celebrated outpacing import growth and the predicted decline in the current account balance below 1.2% of GDP. At this level of the ruble was devalued in 1998 and 2008, a figure close to that value in June 2011.
However, in late January of this year, the experts of the Center said that the devaluation will not — because of the changing dynamics of imports. "We have a hypothesis why could import an abrupt stop. It is related to the fact that imports sharply after the crisis subsided, and we are still actively building up his until he was below the pre-crisis rates. We can not predict how this rule change — up or down. But it can be assumed that imports reached saturation. In this case, the import in the next two to three years will continue to grow, but the rate is much higher than the turnover or gross domestic product ", — explained the expert of the Center of HSE.
Head of the laboratory research of problems of inflation and economic growth of the HSEbelieves that the slowdown in import growth — the result of sensible economic policy to support domestic producers and import substitution. "In the last months of imports in general have ceased to grow — says Besson. — We displace imports, and this is a consequence of our economic recovery. A striking example of this — auto industry. Support domestic production has led to the fact that cars made in Russia by volume surpassed pre-crisis levels, while imports in this case was only 50% of what it was at its peak before the crisis. In value terms, the development of the automotive industry has reduced imports by about $ 20 billion per year. A similar situation is observed in agriculture. "
Bessonov confident that we are witnessing a long-term positive trend of import substitution and, if import growth continues, it will not be "harmful" and "useful" — investment.