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ACRA expects ruble to strengthen by 4-15% until 2024

This year the agency forecasts the rate of the Russian currency at 72.6 rubles per dollar

MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. The Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA) expects the ruble to strengthen against the dollar by 4-15% before 2024, the agency said in its macro forecast.

In all three forecast scenarios in the medium term, the ruble is strengthening in comparison with the exchange rate levels of mid-November 2020 (by 4-15%), the report said.

Thus, this year the agency forecasts the rate of the Russian currency at 72.6 rubles per dollar, in 2024 the ruble exchange rate could be 62.4-69.7 per dollar.

The strengthening of the ruble will be possible thanks to a gradual recovery in demand for basic goods exported by Russian producers, as well as a decrease in the external assessment of the risk of investments in assets in developing countries.

The agency also expects growth of the recovery rate of economic activity in 2021-2022 in the baseline scenario. GDP in real terms, according to the agency, could grow by more than 3.5% in 2021 due to less stringent restrictions imposed during the new wave of COVID-19, which leads to the growth of the service sector, the decline in which explains 60-70% of the total decline in business activity in 2020.

The calculation based on the selected assumptions shows that a return to the pre-crisis level of economic activity can happen in 2022-2023.

Potential after 2023

After 2023, the potential for economic growth for several years will be close to 2% or even slightly exceed this level due to the additional contribution of the labor force, the agency noted.

The key difference between the dynamics of the current crisis and the previous ones is the severity of the recession. At the first stage, the decline in the volume of purchases by the population, caused by regulatory restrictions, and not by economic incentives, led to the fastest reduction in retail trade and the volume of services provided to the population in the history of Russian crises. Therefore, despite the more stable industrial production and construction by historical standards, business activity as a whole has also declined at a record pace, the report said.

Comparison of the main macroeconomic indicators in the current year and in the crises of 1998, 2008-2009 and 2014-2015 shows that certain markets in Russia, in particular the foreign exchange, are now experiencing less pressure. Unlike the crisis of 2014-2015, in the baseline scenario the agency sees the possibility of almost complete adjustment of business and population to new conditions during 2020-2022 to a state in which labor productivity will be very close to the pre-crisis already in 2023.