Last but not least is the update concerning growing import into Russia. As surprising as it may sound, February has become the third month in a row to demonstrate a rapid import increase, with 90% of imported goods originating in non-CIS countries. Experts from Higher School of Economics, Russia’s leading financial university and research center, emphasize that current numbers exceed even the levels achieved in the previous year.
Mechanical equipment – including machines, engineering products, tools, and optics – constitutes over a half of the entire import volume. Specialists also report higher import of chemical products (including products of organic and inorganic chemistry, perfumery and pharmaceuticals), food (primarily vegetable oil, vegetables and fish) and vehicles.
If the trend lingers, the value of imported goods in 2021 may increase to $ 254-257 billion, exceeding respective figures of 2020 by 6-7%. “The growth of imports indicates the growth of investment activity,” says Alexander Isakov, senior analyst at VTB Capital for Russia and the CIS. Georgy Ostapkovich, director of the Center for Business Studies at the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, also adds that the growth of investment imports, such as machinery and equipment, means that enterprises have funds to renew their basic assets and to invest in production, and this is a source of industrial growth. “Almost all sectors of the manufacturing industry are growing, and this is encouraging,” says Ostapkovich.