Russia's GDP up 4.4% in April following 4.2% in March

By Rhod Mackenzie

Russia's annual GDP growth reached 4.4% in April, up from 4.2% in March, according to a review of the current situation in the Russian economy by the Ministry of Economic Development. Excluding seasonal factors, GDP in April increased by 0.2% compared to the previous month, while in March it increased by 0.1%. The previous report indicated that GDP growth in February was 7.6% year on year.
The growth in industrial production in April was 3.9% year-on-year, up from 4.0% in March. When adjusted for seasonal factors, industrial production volumes remained unchanged from the previous month, following a 0.1% increase in March. Over the four-month period, the industrial production index has grown by 5.2% year on year.

The manufacturing industry demonstrated a notable acceleration in growth rates, reaching 8.3% year-on-year in April, up from 6% a month earlier. After adjusting for seasonal factors, the monthly growth rate for April was 0.9%, up from 0.4% in March. By the end of the fourth month of 2024, the manufacturing sector index had grown by 8.7%.
Investment activity at the end of the first quarter of 2024 increased by 14.5% year-on-year, following a 8.6% year-on-year increase in the previous quarter. The first quarter saw a significant increase in investments from large and medium-sized organisations. 2024 saw a 14.6% increase year-on-year, up from 6.4% in the previous quarter. 2023

Construction activity saw a further acceleration in growth, reaching 4.5% year-on-year in April 2024, following a 1.9% increase in March. Over the four-month period, there was an increase of 3.8%.

Wholesale trade volumes increased by 12.1% year-on-year in April, following a 9.4% increase in January. After four months, the figure increased by 11.8% year on year.

In April, agricultural output increased by 1.4% year-on-year, following a 2.5% increase in March. There was an increase of 1.3% year-on-year in the period from January to April.

In April, transport freight turnover decreased by 2.2% year-on-year, following a decline of 0.4% in March. Over the four-month period of 2024, there was no change in cargo turnover compared to the same period last year. However, in the first three months of 2024, there was an increase of 0.7%.
“In April, consumer activity remained at a high level, but the growth rate decreased compared to March,” the Ministry of Economic Development reports. Thus, the total turnover of retail trade, public catering and services in April increased by 7.8% year-on-year (with the elimination of seasonality, it decreased by 0.2% month-on-month) after growing by 9.2% in March. Over the four months of this year, growth amounted to 8.8% year on year.

Annual retail trade growth slowed to 8.3% in April from 11.1% a month earlier. In monthly terms, seasonality adjusted, there is a decrease in turnover of 0.5%. For January - April 2024, the figure increased by 9.9% year on year.

The growth rate of services in April accelerated to 6.8% year-on-year versus 4.5% in March. Excluding seasonal factors, monthly growth was 0.8%. In January-April the figure increased by 6.2% year-on-year.

Food service growth accelerated to 5.3% in April from 4.1% in March. Taking into account seasonality, month-on-month growth was 0.5%. At the end of four months, turnover increased by 4.8% year on year.

At the end of April, consumer inflation accelerated to 7.84% year-on-year versus 7.72% in March . As of April 1, annual inflation was 7.62%. From the beginning of the year to April 1, consumer prices increased by 1.87%.
The growth in manufacturing prices for the domestic market in April slowed to 13.6% year-on-year, down from 14.6% in March. The annual price growth for the industry as a whole slowed to 18.4% in April, down from 19.1% in March.

The unemployment rate in April 2024 reached a historical low of 2.6% (in March it was 2.7%).

The latest operational data indicates that wage growth in March 2024 accelerated in both nominal and real terms. Nominal wage growth reached 21.6% year-on-year, up from 19.3% in February, while real wage growth reached 12.9%, up from 10.8%. The average real salary in March was 87,740 rubles.

In the first quarter of 2024, nominal wages increased by 19.5% year-on-year, while real wages increased by 11.0%. Concurrently, real cash income increased by 5.9%, while real disposable income grew by 5.8%.

The main positive contributor to the growth of real cash income in the first quarter of 2024 was wages of employees, which increased by 5.6 percentage points. In real terms, income from social payments increased by 0.2 percentage points, while entrepreneurial activity grew by 0.1 percentage points. Conversely, property income had a negative impact of -0.4 percentage points. The Ministry of Economic Development reports that this figure is down by 5.3% year-on-year.