The improving economic situation in Russia: reality or creative statistics? Cover Image

The improving economic situation in Russia: reality or creative statistics?
The improving economic situation in Russia: reality or creative statistics?

Author(s): Iwona Wiśniewska
Subject(s): National Economy, Supranational / Global Economy, Governance, Economic policy, Geopolitics
Published by: OSW Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich im. Marka Karpia
Keywords: Russia; economic policy
Summary/Abstract: The indicators published in recent months by the Russian Statistics Office (Rosstat) are much more optimistic than the estimates and forecasts announced several months earlier. A significant improvement in statistical data is evident in particular regarding the figures for GDP and industrial production. According to new information, over the last two years (2015-2016) the Russian economy shrank by 3%, and not by 4.5% as previously estimated. Moreover, data compiled by Rosstat show an increase in industrial production was registered, even in the face of a decline in citizens’ income and fixed investment. In addition, the slowdown in the industrial sector was found to have ended at the beginning of 2016 and not at the end of 2016 as previously reported.The improvement of economic indicators can undoubtedly be attributed to certain objective factors, including taking into account more detailed data or a change in methodology, which is a natural element of the process of compiling statistical data. However, the scale of the change and the lack of professionalism on the part of Rosstat, including the manner of presenting the data, its failure to observe the deadlines for issuing publications and selective inclusion of data, undermine the credibility of the presented figures. Therefore, increasing caution is advised when interpreting these data. Doubts regarding the quality of the indicators presented by Rosstat make the assessment of Russia’s actual economic situation increasingly difficult. As a consequence, reservations towards the Russian statistics office seem to be all the more justified. These suggest that Rosstat is under political pressure from the Kremlin and that these new, improved statistics meet the government’s propaganda-motivated demand for information. Ahead of the upcoming presidential election planned for March 2018, the government would like to emphasise its effectiveness, such as by efficiently overcoming the crisis and stabilising the economic situation in Russia.

  • Page Count: 6
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Language: English