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Everything is ready for the fall of the ruble
Material posted: Publication date: 26-10-2016
The end of the year was twice the time of a sharp weakening of the Russian currency. If it happens a third time?

Let's start with the memories. At the end of November 2014, the dollar had already a few months gradually rising in price, it was worth 49 rubles. Three weeks later – 68 RUB Is the official courses. What was happening then in exchange, I won't remind.

This year has gone and panic four weeks (25 Dec 2015 22 Jan 2016) price of us dollar increased from 70 rubles to 84 rubles.

Though these figures have lasted not for long, but remember hard. Remember that the second time, the devaluation effect was weaker.

Let me remind you that the end of 2014 was marked by fixed-term external debt – in fact perederzhivat money is not allowed then fresh Western sanctions. So for the last month of 2014, had to pay almost $ 150 billion.

And this despite the fact that the collapsed oil. The average price of a barrel of Brent fell by half – from nearly $100 in September 2014 to $50 in January 2015.

Add to this the panic of the event our individual state monopolies, who demanded and received nearly a trillion rubles freshly, and be surprised at the relative moderation of the collapse of the ruble in 2014. In 1998 the ruble for a few weeks fell as much as three times.

The panic of the turn of 2015 – 2016 years was less formidable than the year before because of problems with payment of external debts began to depart on the second plan. The main factor was a new drop in oil prices. In November 2015, the barrel was sold at an average $46, and in January 2016 for $32. And while this continued, the ruble, though it was zigzagging, but overall was very cheap.

Today the hands of others. From July to September this year, the average price of Brent was about $47, and now even has grown to $52. And it is not only favorable for ruble factor.

Ceased to be any visible problem and the return of foreign debt. The so-called net capital exports by the private sector (which now is mainly debt payments) in January – September 2016 didn't even reach $10 billion In the same period of 2015, the outflow amounted to $48 billion. I do Not know in what ways, but Russian companies have learned to perederzhivat money and actually pay their foreign creditors far less than last year, not to mention the year before.

The overlay of these two phenomena has led to the fact that our currency is now unusually solid, and the dollar hovering around RUB 63 Which is close to the average level of 2015 (61 RUB)

This seems to imply that the third new year's panic excluded, and flashing from time to time rumors of a new round of devaluation of the budding crooks.

But the situation is not so simple.

The current strength of the ruble is based not only on the relative cost of oil and low outflow of capital abroad. But even on a strict financial policy in the country, falling inflation and sharply lower compared to the "fat years" imports of goods and services.

For those who don't follow the details, let me remind you that import of services is mainly the foreign exchange costs of Russian tourists abroad. Closed Egypt and Turkey – imports of services fell steeply. Opened the Turkey, and soon, perhaps, open and Egypt – and he is now in growth.

By the way, for several months, has ceased to decline and imports of goods. This is one of the signs that ordinary people are trying to stop the tightening of the belts and to maintain anything like an acceptable level of consumption.

As a result, the balance of the current account, determined primarily by the balance of imports and exports in the second and third quarters of 2016, has ceased to be surplus and sharply decreased almost to zero, which in our country is very unusual and points to the growing likelihood of a depreciation of the ruble.

As for the tight fiscal policy, it was over a month ago. The Federal budget deficit, which in the first eight months of 2016 amounted to only 2.9% of GDP, should rise for the year to about 3.7% of GDP – primarily due to start in September of massive cash infusions to the company performing the state defense order.

If this procedure will not last very long, the trouble can somehow pass side. But if you will be delayed and will move next year, we can not do without an inflationary surge, panic buying up of currency, evacuate her abroad and, naturally, decrease of the ruble exchange rate.

Actually, panic is the most important element of our financial life. Cheaper oil – panic. In the coming months is less likely than a year or two ago, but completely to exclude it is impossible.

Wags boss Western foes atomic bomb – again panic. You can, however, say that recently just threatened to – and did, homely atmosphere stayed calm. But to the masses, the threat simply did not have time to really walk. And if you have time – the reaction will be quite different, and the ruble is very feel.

And finally, the engine of the panic there may be some major actors in our economic life. Talking about, for example, that financial manipulation that will make "Rosneft" on the occasion of the purchase of "Bashneft", as well as partial privatization itself, could fundamentally shake up the Russian currency market.

To be honest, objective scale of these transactions is not so much to hit the ruble exchange rate. But the panic is absolutely not the situation when everyone and everything is coolly weighed.

From the above emerge three points.

1. More or less significant weakening of the ruble in the coming months, quite possible, though not guaranteed. This weakening of work several factors, and only one against him.

To prevent a new round of devaluation and even a little to strengthen the ruble may now only rise in oil prices. Above $60 it to rise is unlikely, even in principle, but it would provide us enough good money on a relatively long term. Another thing is that the further rise in oil prices I think is not particularly likely.

2. If a new round of depreciation of the ruble will take place, it is unlikely to be as large as two years and even a year ago. It is seen that the ruble gets used to the shocks and each time responds to all of them moderate. Approximately ten percent devaluation would be now logical after thirty and twenty percent, observed in previous times.

3. Powerful devaluation is also not really possible, but requires special circumstances, such as the collapse of the world energy market, or some outstanding adventures on the internal or external fronts.

Therefore, it is possible with a calm smile to wait for further developments, hoping that the trouble will be tolerated, however, not forgetting about the beauty of unpredictability, which make our life the next higher surprises.

Sergei Selin


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