GENERICO.ruEconomicsThe expert explained why he does not believe the optimistic forecasts of the Ministry of Economic Development and the...

The expert explained why he does not believe the optimistic forecasts of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Central Bank regarding inflation

“By the end of the year it will reach 6-6.5%”

The Ministry of Economic Development made a forecast for the inflation rate until the end of 2024. According to the department, it is about to begin to gradually decline. If at the end of March in annual terms it was 7.7%, then in June it will slow down to 6.9%, in September to 5.8, and in December it will be 5.1%. This dynamic certainly looks very attractive. But how feasible is a price reduction in real life?

PHOTO: Roman Orlov

According to the previous forecast, published in September last year, Maxim Reshetnikov’s department predicted that inflation in 2024 would be 4.5%.

It is not difficult to notice that significant adjustments have been made to the current forecast. Inflation will be higher, the entire next year will fluctuate in the range of 4.4 – 5.7%, and only in December 2025 it will be 4%. At the same time, the Central Bank of Russia has a more optimistic point of view. If earlier the regulator spoke about annual inflation at 4-4.5%, today it expects it to be in the range of 4.3-4.8%. 

And let the forecasts differ somewhere by tenths of a percent , however, both departments have no doubt that this indicator will decrease by the end of this year. Although many experts do not see the prerequisites for the development of such a scenario.

“The Central Bank and the Ministry of Economic Development are confident that a tight monetary policy (that is, keeping the key rate at a high level) is the only correct one in the current conditions,” says financial analyst, Candidate of Economic Sciences Mikhail Belyaev. – And if so, then from their point of view everything is going correctly and inflation should decrease. But not all economists share this point of view. Our inflation is not of a monetary nature. The peculiarity of the modern market is that there are large monopolistic sellers who dictate prices.

– The Federal Antimonopoly Service has begun to become active in Russia. Not harshly or harshly, but at least this way: in the form of recommendations and agreements with manufacturers and retail chains. We know that there were negotiations on chicken eggs for Easter so that prices would not go up. Now they are trying to reach an agreement with manufacturers of building materials. Such measures may have a certain impact on prices, although the FAS is not working on all of them.  directions of the consumer market. 

The second point – the highest key rate itself. Information is already leaking that the regulator plans to maintain it until the end of the year. The economy faces difficult conditions. And with a decline in overall economic activity, all indicators, including inflation and price increases, also decline. Therefore, there is hope that the pace of price increases will be more restrained than last year…

– I wouldn’t really hope for that. When there are monopoly structures in the market, there will be no noticeable decline. I’ll even assume that at some point they will start talking about complex logistics, which supposedly increases prices for transportation and, accordingly, for fruits and vegetables. And how can falling prices for tomatoes or zucchini affect the general situation in the country? These are pennies…

But from July 1, our utility bills will increase by almost 10%. This is a factor that will definitely spur inflation.

– There is nothing to compare here: the small share of the marketable mass of vegetables with the scale of public services used by more than 100 million citizens. Tariffs will have a very direct and immediate impact.

– I believe that in reality it will be higher. Our economic block produces calculations within the framework of an ideal economy, ideal supply and demand. But there hasn’t been anything like this in the world for half a century! I repeat: significant adjustments are made by monopoly structures, whose influence on the market the authorities for some reason do not take into account. I believe that inflation will be in the range of 6-6.5%.

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