Exports in the fourth quarter continued to decline due to raw material prices, import growth has accelerated

The surplus on the current account of the balance of payments declined in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018 mainly due to the compression of the positive balance of trade, noted in a quarterly issue of information-analytical review “the balance of payments of Russia”1.

Exports continued to decline, as world energy prices and some metals remained below last year’s level in conditions of restrained growth of the global economy. Import growth has increased following the strengthening of the ruble and accelerated growth of the Russian economy in the second half of 2019.

The interest of non-residents to the Russian sovereign debt securities increased in the fourth quarter of 2019, against the backdrop of slowing inflation and expectations of monetary easing by the Bank of Russia.

Net lending to private sector Russia rest of the world has slowed down compared to the fourth quarter of 2018: decreased intensity, as acquisitions of foreign assets and repayment of external obligations.

The growth of international reserves due to transactions reflected in balance of payments continued to be mainly due to the purchase of foreign currency in terms of the budget rules.

1 In comments provided a preliminary assessment of the balance of payments in the fourth quarter of 2019 and the actual data on international reserves.

27 Jan 2020