Russia needs a paradigm shift in economic growth

Temporary stabilization of global financial markets, which followed after the promise of the ECB M.Dragi do what it takes to save the euro, led the Russian Ministry of Finance once again increase the amount proposed for placement among investors of government debt securities.

                     

  • The dynamics of the share of overdue loans in the total amount owed on the mortgage loans
  • The dynamics of the share of overdue loans in the total amount owed on the mortgage loans

It is the desire of the finance department would be quite understandable and, perhaps, even justified, if not at the same time there were negotiations with the Central Bank of Russia to significantly increase the budget, which the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Treasury placed on deposits in commercial banks. The fact that the Fed made such a request to the Ministry of Finance, said a few days ago the Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia S.Shvetsov, explaining that in such a case, in his view, be able to avoid further growth of banks' debt to the Central Bank, which is already significantly increased in recent months.

 

In fact, if at the beginning of January this year, the cash balances on correspondent accounts and deposits with the Central Bank exceeded the debt of commercial banks to the monetary authorities of an average of 500 billion rubles., In early May, the picture changed to opposite. Now the debt of banks to the Central Bank exceeded their liquid balances of 500 billion rubles. Over the next two months, the gap only continued to increase, reaching 1.5 trillion. rubles. at the end of July. The last time at this level the figure was in December 2008., When the global financial crisis has moved into an active phase and has already begun to spread to Russia.

 

Many credit analysts is not inclined to dramatize the situation. Referring to the data of the official statistics on GDP growth and per capita income, they believe exaggerated arguments about the possibility of an economic crisis. In this case, they lose sight of the nature of that growth, which showed the economy of Russia for six months 2012. In fact, GDP growth was achieved primarily stimulating consumer demand through the budget, as well as the credit expansion of banks. Given the negative net liquidity of the banking sector, it is clear that the basis of the credit boom lie virtually the same budget, provided not only directly, but through mechanisms repo transactions with the Central Bank. However, commercial banks continued to sharply increase lending to the population. For the first six months of 2012. retail loan portfolio grew at an annual rate of 44.4% (compared with 24% in 2011.).

 

On the one hand, the growth of loans to households seems to be balanced by an increase in its revenue, although the growth in real disposable income to lag behind the nominal wage (2.7% versus 15.6% in the first half of 2012.). But on the other hand, the public demand for credit to a large extent reflects the increased inflationary expectations of our citizens. The threat of a new crisis just reinforces the demand of the population, although a more rational behavior in these circumstances would be reasonable economy.

 

Thus, the Russian financial markets are becoming increasingly drawn signs forming the "bubble." In the banking system pumped huge resources that go into consumer lending, or the same budget from which, again, go to the fulfillment of social obligations. Meanwhile, the real economy money is still not getting through. For the first six months of 2012. loans to the real sector increased by only 6.2%, which is even less than the modest 7.5%, to which they have grown up in the same period last year.

 

But without investment in the real economy can not seriously talk not only about sustainable economic growth, but also about what else modernization. This means that the government needs to change the vector of economic policy and to stimulate consumer demand in order to maintain GDP growth move to stimulate savings, thus creating the conditions for the formation of the so-called "long" money that could be used as a source of investment financing.

 

The first step in this direction should be to reduce inflation expectations. The calculations show that there is no economic necessity in the annual increase in tariffs of natural monopolies, and this is an essential component of the price increase. Another focus should be to increase public confidence in the banks. Not so long ago, the government set itself the task of national culture to create a positive image of law enforcement agencies. Something similar is needed in relation to banks, which are associated in the public mind with a predominantly violent rejection of personal property. It is important to reverse the negative public attitudes towards banks. Without this, it will be difficult to provide a stable source of funding investment in the form of deposits. Finally, the last on the list, but not least, should be to encourage private entrepreneurial initiative. Necessary to adopt a special program really provides everyone an opportunity to start their own business. Only then can we provide innovative growth of the Russian economy

 

NN Troshin, Senior Research Fellow, Department of International Economic Organizations Center for Economic Studies of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies.

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