巴黎银行:俄罗斯经济走稳,但低油价构成重大隐忧
2016-02-23 16:52:18
巴黎银行:俄罗斯经济走稳,但低油价构成重大隐忧(2016.02.23)

  提要:俄罗斯经济看似已在2015年2季度见底。然而,由于国际油价大跌,俄罗斯经济依然面临严重的下行风险。只要油价依然停留在极度低位,那么俄罗斯经济复苏的任何希望都会化为泡影。目前,俄罗斯经济形势略有好转。短期之内,俄罗斯财政状况尚可维持;但到2017年,俄罗斯储备基金将不足以填补预算赤字,因而其财政状况将岌岌可危,从而迫使政府大规模削减公共开支,但这又会对经济增长构成重压。只要油价继续停留在50美元/桶以下,就很难避免出现这种情况。

  (外脑精华·北京)2015年7月以来,俄罗斯经济形势停止了恶化。然而,由于国际油价大跌,俄罗斯经济依然面临严重的下行风险。只要油价依然停留在极度低位,那么俄罗斯经济复苏的任何希望都会化为泡影。目前,俄罗斯经济形势略有好转,企业部门较为突出,但居民部门的经济状况仍极度脆弱。短期之内,俄罗斯财政状况尚可维持;但到2017年,俄罗斯储备基金将不足以填补预算赤字,因而其财政状况将岌岌可危,从而迫使政府大规模削减公共开支,但这又会对经济增长构成重压。只要油价继续停留在50美元/桶以下,就很难避免出现这种情况。

  经济走势略有改善

  俄罗斯经济衰退看似已在2015年2季度见底。3季度GDP环比降幅由2季度的1.3%缩小至0.6%,对比来看,2014年2、3季度的经济降幅分别为4.6%和4.1%。

  农业部门增产是主要经济支持因素,本地生产消费代替商品进口。显然这一改进在4季度持续,农业生产自去年10月同比提升3%。整体而言,虽然工业生产继续减少,6月首次报告的改进将继续。

  家庭消费将继续受到持续高通胀的冲击,尽管通胀速度略有放缓,实际工资下降,即便这一趋势11月略微放缓。因此,零售再次下降,11月同比下降13.1%。

  相反,企业情况停止恶化,特别是工业。企业领导更有信心,至少根据制造业调查结果。11月制造业PMI高于50,为连续第2个月,即便12月再次下降。11月企业投资同比提升3.1%。尽管这一提升为时过早,这是自7月以来真正出现了实际的变化。此外,2015年企业收益比2014年更高。

  尽管在工业上有“轻微的改善”,增长前景在中短期并不好。经济活动将继续受到几个因素的挤压:1、在未来12个月,预计石油和基本金属价格不会显著提升,这将影响这些行业的投资决策;2、借贷换进并不非常有利;3、实际工资仍然下降,通胀继续超过名义工资增长。

  简而言之,俄罗斯经济形势依然非常脆弱,特别是如果石油价格维持在年底的水平。

  预算承受沉重压力

  12月杜马最终接受2016年预算。预算要求联邦赤字占GDP的3%,完全由储备资金来填补。到目前为止,预算没有建立在实际假设上。政府预计全年增长0.7%。同样预测石油价格为50美元/桶,从目前价格来看,该预测过于乐观。此外,由于国际石油价格下降,政府宣布16年1季度预算有所调整。不考虑赤字的规模,真正令人担忧的是储备资金的下降。12月1日,仅有600亿美元储备资金,之前一年低于300亿美元。在这些环境下,储备金不足以为2017年全部赤字提供资金,如果俄罗斯政策环境继续避免其进入国际市场融资,这将成为问题。但是,从2016年起,该问题将爆发,如果国际油价停滞在目前水平。

  投资短缺是俄罗斯增长潜力下降背后的关键原因

  放眼当前席卷俄罗斯的危机,真正令人担忧的是潜在增长率的低迷不振。经济学家一致认为俄罗斯潜在增长为1%甚至1.5%。相反,在此前2008年的危机,俄罗斯增长潜力预期为7%。这一下行调整仅是由于职业人口的变化。主要的原因在于缺乏投资和技术进步虚弱的扩散。

  生产性资本投资远远低于支持增长所需,这一问题持续了若干年。根据美国会议委员会,在2007-2012年期间,资本对于俄罗斯增长的贡献仅为1.7%,2014年仅为0.5%,由于之前制裁的影响。相比其他新兴国家,2007-2012年资本对于增长的平均贡献为4.3%,2014年为4.4%。

  此外,不同于许多其他的新兴国家,俄罗斯并没有通过外国直接投资带来的主要技术转移中获得收益,特别是非开采行业。因此,缺乏生产性投资引发了全要素生产率的净下降,该指标在2007-2012年间仅平均上升0.8%,1996-2006年间下降4.7%。2014年全要素生产率对于增长贡献了负面的0.2%。

  俄罗斯投资对于增长的贡献结构性疲软,相比其他新兴国家普遍的情况。一部分原因在于直到最近都非常不利的机构环境。根据世界银行的最新报告,政府试图通过一系列改革提升商业环境。商业环境的提升不足以抵消2012年以来企业财务状况恶化的报告,这是投资下降的真实原因。

  整体投资自2012年1季度开始放缓,2013年3季度大幅下降。换句话说,下降开始于2014年危机之前,2014年国际金融制裁开始实施同时石油价格下降。不利事件的结合只会使得经济情况更加恶化,恶化开始于2011年。如果排除房地产投资,投资下降更为显著。

  投资大规模下降可以归因于两项因素:首先是大宗商品价格暴跌,第二是国民收入分配结构向有利于劳动的方向转移。

  企业收益放缓,从2011年之前开始下降到2012年中。这一放缓主要由于商品价格下降,以及生产成本提升,特别是劳动成本。2013年底全部活动行业工资提升远远超过生产率收益。在2003至2013年间,工资增长和生产率收益间的缺口不断增长。

  同时,银行开始规避风险,特别是对于小型企业。

  俄罗斯政府投资主要依赖于财政收入,这与石油价格趋势高度相关。不幸的是,正如政府在2016年预算陈述中指出的,该投资并非必须支出的一部分。自2012年以来已经下降,同石油价格下降保持一致。2014年,投资仅占GDP比例的0.2%,2015年为0.5%。

  

  英文原文:Low oil prices threaten fragile stabilisation

The economic situation has stopped deteriorating since July. But downside risks are very high due to the drop in international oil prices. Yet as long as oil prices hold at a very low level, any hopes of recovery are bound to lead to disappointment. Currently, a "slight improvement" can be seen, notably on the corporate side, while the household situation remains extremely fragile. The Russian economy should be able to meet its commitments in the short term. By 2017, however, it could become much harder to finance the budget deficit since the reserve fund will no longer suffice to fully cover the deficit, unless the government sharply cuts back spending, which risks placing a severe strain on growth. This problem could emerge before if oil prices remain below USD 50.

Fragile improvement in business climate

The Russian recession seems to have bottomed out in Q2 2015. Although statistics concerning GDP growth trends can still be confusing from one quarter to the next (depending on the base year used), activity seems to have contracted less in Q3 than in the previous quarter (-0.6% q/q in Q3 2015 vs. -1.3% in Q2 2015) and the previous year (-4.1% y/y in Q3 2015 vs. -4.6% in Q2).

Increasing production in the agricultural sector was the main economic support factor as the consumption of local products replaced imported goods. Apparently this improvement continued in Q4, since farm production was up 3% y/y last October. On the whole, even though industrial production continued to contract (- 3.5% y/y in October), the improvement first reported in June seems to be continuing.

Household consumption continues to be hard hit by persistently high inflation, despite a slight deceleration (+14.9% y/y in November vs. +15.8% in July), and by declining real wages, even though this trend eased slightly in November (-9% y/y). As a result, retail sales contracted again, down 13.1% y/y in November.

Inversely, the corporate situation has ceased to deteriorate, notably in industry. Business leaders are more confident, at least according to survey results in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing PMI was above 50 in November, for the second consecutive month, even though it declined again in December. Corporate investment was up 3.1% in November compared to the year-earlier period. Although this upturn might seem a little premature, there has been a real change of pace since July (when the decline reached -8.5% y/y). Moreover, corporate earnings were generally higher in full-year 2015 than in 2014.

Yet despite this “slight improvement” in industry, growth prospects are hardly favourable in the short to medium term. Activity will continue to be squeezed tightly by several factors: 1) oil and basic metal prices are not expected to rise significantly over the next twelve months (even though the decline will be partially offset by the rouble’s depreciation against the dollar), which should affect investment decisions in these sectors, 2) lending conditions are not very favourable (the problem is not really with real interest rates, which are still negative, but the banks, which are reticent to lend), and 3) real wages are still declining, since inflation continues to outpace nominal wage growth.

In a nutshell, the situation remains extremely fragile, especially if oil prices hold at year-end levels.

Budget pressures

The 2016 budget was accepted in the final reading by the Duma last December. The budget calls for a federal deficit of 3% of GDP entirely financed by drawing on the reserve fund. So far, the budget does not seem to be built on realistic assumptions. The government is anticipating full-year growth of 0.7%. It is also forecasting oil prices at USD 50/barrel (at RUB 63 per USD), which seems extremely optimistic with regard to current prices. Moreover, due to the drop in international oil prices, the government announced that the budget should be revised in Q1-16. Disregarding the size of the deficit, what is really alarming is the decline in the reserve fund. At 1 December, there was only USD 60 bn in the reserve fund, USD 30 bn less than in the previous year. Under these conditions, the reserve fund might not suffice to finance the entire deficit in 2017, which could become problematic if Russia's political situation continues to prevent it from accessing financing on international markets. But, from 2016 onwards, this problem could surge if international oil prices stagnate at current level.

Investment shortfall: a key factor behind the decline in Russia's growth potential

Looking beyond the crisis currently sweeping Russia, what is truly alarming is the erosion of potential growth. The consensus among economists estimates Russia's potential growth at about 1% or even 1.5%, although some estimates are closer to 0. Prior to the 2008 crisis, in contrast, Russia's growth potential was estimated at about 7%. This downward revision is only partially due to changes in the active population. The main cause is the lack of investment and the feeble diffusion of technical progress.

Investment in productive capital has fallen far short of what is needed to support growth, a problem that has persisted for several years. According to the US Conference Board, capital contributed only 1.7 percentage points (pp) to Russian growth over the period 2007-12, and only 0.5 pp in 2014, before the impact of sanctions. In the other emerging countries, in comparison, capital made an average contribution to growth of 4.3 pp in 2007-12 and 4.4 pp in 2014.

Moreover, unlike many other emerging countries, Russia did not benefit from major technological transfers via FDI, notably in the non-mining sectors. Consequently, the lack of productive investment (domestic and foreign) triggered a net slowdown in Total Factor Productivity (TFP), which rose by an average of only 0.8% over the period 2007-2012, down from 4.7% in 1996-2006. TFP made a negative contribution to growth of 0.2 pp in 2014.

Investment's contribution to growth is structurally weak in Russia compared to the situations prevailing in the other emerging countries. This can be explained in part by an especially unfavourable institutional environment, at least until recently. According to the World Bank's latest reports, the government seems to have managed to improve the business climate through a series of reforms. Yet the improvement in the business environment is not enough to offset the deterioration in corporate financial positions reported since 2012, which is the real source of the slowdown in investment.

Investment as a whole first began to slow in Q1 2012, before contracting very sharply as of Q3 2013. In other words, the slowdown began well before the 2014 crisis, the implementation of international financial sanctions and the drop-off in oil prices. An unfavourable combination of events only worsened the economic situation, which began to deteriorate as of 2011. The decline in investment was even more pronounced if we excluding housing investment.

The significant slowdown in investment can be attributed to 1) smaller revenues due to the drop-off in commodity prices, and 2) the shift in the sharing of value added in favour of wages.

Corporate earnings slowed as of 2011 before declining as of mid- 2012. This slowdown is due in part to the fall of commodity prices and to rising production costs, notably the cost of labour. Wages rose much faster than productivity gains in all sectors of activity through year-end 2013. Between 2003 and 2013, there has been a continuous increase in the gap between wage growth and productivity gains.

At the same time, banks have become more risk adverse, particularly towards small businesses.

Capital investment by the government depends mainly on fiscal revenues, which are highly correlated to oil pricing trends. Unfortunately, as the government pointed out in its 2016 budget presentation, however, this investment is not part of "essential" spending. It has declined since 2012, in keeping with the levelling off and then decline in oil prices. In 2014, investment accounted for only 0.2% of GDP vs. 0.5% of GDP in 2015.

来源:巴黎银行,作者:Johanna Melka
作者:Johanna

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