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Government publish economic statistics late in the evening, so as not to attract attention

Власти публикуют экономическую статистику поздним вечером, чтобы не привлекать внимание

The Russian government postponed the publication of the data of Rosstat late in the evening, so as not to draw attention to economic data, which in the conditions of pandemic and rigid quarantine become “increasingly disappointing”, writes Reuters.

Data of Rosstat, which is supervised by the Ministry of economic development is a major indicator of the economic situation in Russia and an important element in acceptance by investors of decisions on joining or leaving the assets, including the ruble and government bonds. Since the beginning of may, the official statistics of the Russian Federation and reviews, demonstrating the impact on the economy of coronavirus and related restrictions come in the late evening.

In particular, information on industrial production in Russia in hours April, Rosstat published 21 may at 21:00. At the same time, last week released an operational report on the situation in the economy in April, with data on unemployment and retail sales. The other statistics also began to appear outside normal working hours, whereas previously this data has traditionally been published at 16:00.

“Rosstat is forbidden to publish the data or require that they at least moved the time. Now trying, at least on the same day, but in the evening, to avoid the morning no news,” said an Agency source familiar with the situation. Late publication means that journalists reduced the time to prepare and work with numbers, and also to communicate with experts.

Late in the evening was to announce its estimate and economic development. Picture of business activity for March, which the office gives a monthly estimate of GDP was published on 30 April after 20:00, and the April figures of economic decline appeared last week only at 22:30. A three-year macroeconomic forecast, which the Agency downgraded compared to the February estimates made before the pandemic coronavirus and the collapse in oil prices, the Ministry announced at 23:00.

The representative of the government did not comment on the reason for the late publications of statistics. The press service of the Ministry of economic development and Rosstat delay explain the complexities of remote work of employees and the increased load on them.

Economists said that in a pandemic coronavirus and forced restrictions of economic and consumer activity, the collapse in oil prices and falling demand for export goods of Russia slipping into recession and they will have a five-step shock. Industrial production in Russia in hours April declined by 6.6% in annual terms, retail trade turnover fell by 23.4% and unemployment rose to 5.8% of the economically active population.

The Ministry of economic development, GDP of the Russian Federation in April fell by 12% – the last time a similar failure of the Russian economy experienced in may 2009. At the end of the year, the Ministry expects a GDP decline of 5%, and the main impact will be in the second quarter to 9.5%.

“They at some point thought that the key problem associated with Rosstat. They have in mind has a clear picture: while not written, this is not” – said a source familiar with the situation in Rosstat. According to other sources, some officials in the government of Mikhail mishustina wanted to classify the April statistics, but explained to them that not to publish figures impossible. “Then they chose a different position to try to drive information in the late evening,” said the source.

A few years ago, Rosstat was again at the forefront of the discussion about the reliability of official macroeconomic statistics after a series of revisions of the indicators, in particular, data on the dynamics of GDP in 2016-2017, when Russia was struggling with the effects of Western sanctions. Statistics service has since replaced the head and a number of calculation methods. And last year, the Russian government refused from the monthly publication statistics in real incomes after five years of falling, considering that the figures did not reflect the real situation.

 

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