BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2017/21

Rosstat reports that the seasonally adjusted volume of retail sales increased slightly in April. Sales were the same as a year ago. Because the recovery was preceded by a 27-month slide in retail sales, the retail sales volume in April was still nearly 15 % less than in April 2014. Although the construction sector continued to struggle, first-quarter fixed investment was distinctly higher (2.3 % y-o-y) for the first time since Russia's recent recession began.

Rosstat noted that seasonally adjusted and workday-adjusted industrial output increased further in April, raising the total output increase for the January-April period to 0.7 % y‑o-y. Mineral extraction remained the main driver of industrial growth, with output in the first four months of the year rising by nearly 2 % y-o-y. Natural gas production was up 9 % y-o-y. The increase in manufacturing output was more modest, even if the output was slightly up in the March-April period in on-year terms.

Growth in goods transport, already climbing in the first quarter, picked up steam in April. In the first four months of the year, the volume of goods transport was up 6.4 % y-o‑y. Rail transport and energy pipeline transmission, which, due to the long haulage distances, generate an overwhelming part of transport volumes, have experienced strong growth.