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Russia’s trade surplus down almost 50% in Jan-Aug 2016 — ministry

October 03, 2016, 11:44 UTC+3

According to the Economic Development Ministr, Russia's GDP in the first 8 months of 2016 was down 0.7% year-on-year

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© Yuri Smityuk/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. Russia’s trade surplus decreased by 48.8% in January-August period of 2016 year-on-year to $55.6 bln, Economic Development Ministry said in a monitoring on social and economic results of first eight months of 2016, released on Monday.

"Trade surplus was estimated at $55.6 bln in January-August of 2016, a 48.8% decrease versus January-August of 2015," the report said.

Russia’s export of goods totaled $173.6 bln in the reporting period, a 25.8% decrease compared with January-August of 2015.

Import of goods amounted to $118 bln in the period, a 5.9% decrease year-on-year.

According to the ministry, Russia's GDP in the first 8 months of 2016 was down 0.7% year-on-year. In August, Russia showed zero GDP dynamics.

"Seasonally adjusted GDP index after stabilization in May - July, in August went into a positive territory, reaching 0.3% month-on-month. In annual terms, according to the Ministry of Economic Development, in August 2016 economic activity ceased to decline - GDP dynamics was zero year-on-year after minus 0.8% in July. In the first 8 months of this year, GDP fell by 0.7% year-on-year," the document said.

Seasonally adjusted manufacturing, agriculture, and services to the population showed positive dynamics.

In September 2016, the Russian State Statistics Service (Rosstat) published first estimates of GDP in the Q2 of 2016. GDP decline slowed by half - to 0.6% in annual terms, compared with 1.2% in the Q1. In general, over the first half of the year GDP fell by 0.9% year-on-year.

The seasonally adjusted retail trade was down 0.1% in August. slipped 0.1%.

"Despite a substantial reduction in personal income, seasonally adjusted retail trade slightly dropped - by 0.1% month-on-month following zero dynamics in July," the report said.

Despite negative trends on personal incomes and a certain increase in propensity to save, the decline in retail trade slowed down to 5.1% in annual terms (from 5.2% in July) due to trade in non-food products, which decreased to 4.8% in August versus 5.2% in July. Trade in food products, beverages and tobacco goods dropped by 5.4% in August (versus 5.3% in July), the Ministry said.

All in all, in eight months of 2016 Russia’s retail trade decreased by 5.7%, including trade in non-food products (-6.1%) and food products, beverages and tobacco goods (-5.2%).

Real disposable incomes of Russian citizens (seasonally adjusted) dropped by 1.1% in August following a 0.6% decrease in July in monthly terms.

Russia’s Economic Development Ministry projects acceleration of inflation amid a seasonal decline of food supply and growing demand for non-food products in the autumn.

"Further on it is likely price growth rates will accelerate amid a seasonal decline of supply of certain food products and seasonal growth of demand for non-food products," the report said.

Maximum decline in real disposable income of Russian citizens

The  ministry states that real disposable income of Russian citizens declined 8.3% year-on-year in August, which is the maximum decline of this indicator since 2009.

"In August 2016, the ministry fixed the maximum decline in real disposable income of the population since 2009 (-8.3% year-on-year). Besides that in August, population income decreased in nominal terms by 0.9% year-on-year," the ministry said.

According to the report, in January-August, real disposable income of Russian citizens declined by 5.8% year-on-year.

"In August, according to estimates, real wages of workers decreased by 1% year-on-year. Taking into account the positive trend of the first half of 2016, in January-August, wages decreased by 0.3% as compared to the same period of 2015," the ministry said.

In addition, the Economic Development Ministry, in August, savings rate net of seasonal factor increased to 11.9% of disposable income (in July the minimum value of the indicator was registered since the beginning of 2015 - 11.5%).

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