360° Coverage : Russia's Economic Performance Is Actually Very Similar To...

2 Updates
Russia's Economic Performance Is Actually Very Similar To Other East European Countries'

Russia's Economic Performance Is Actually Very Similar To Other East European Countries'

Jan 20 2014, 8:46am CST | by

Ever since it was lumped in with the BRICs, people have judged the performance of Russia’s economy primarily in comparison to India, Brazil, and China. While Russia does not necessarily come out...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

39 weeks ago

Russia's Economic Performance Is Actually Very Similar To Other East European Countries'

Jan 20 2014, 8:46am CST | by

Ever since it was lumped in with the BRICs, people have judged the performance of Russia’s economy primarily in comparison to India, Brazil, and China. While Russia does not necessarily come out looking bad when compared to Brazil,  if you look only at headline GDP growth numbers then it is clearly lagging pretty far behind India, China, and several other of the more dynamic emerging markets. Quite a lot of people never thought Russia belonged in the BRICs in the first place, and the calls for removing it from the club grew ever louder as its 2013 GDP number were repeatedly revised downward to a measly 1.4%.

While I think the BRICs are an interesting concept, and while Jim O’Neill, the person who coined the term, accurately predicted a strong shift in economic gravity away from the developed world, the simple fact is that Brazil, Russia, India, and China are extremely different countries with extremely different cultures, politics, economics, and demographics. Apart from being large, they just don’t have very much in common.

I’ve long thought that it makes far more sense to compare Russia to the countries with which it shares the myriad aftereffects of state socialism. Russia and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are, of course, not identical. But in trying to build market structures on the wreckage of the command economy, Russia and other post-Communist countries have shared many of the same economic, social, and political challenges. They inherited economies that were way too focused on heavy industry and that had extremely under-developed service sectors. Manufacturing both employed way too large a percentage of the workforce and was extraordinarily inefficient. Banking systems were practically non-existent, and the management of state finances was chaotic (at best). Due in large part to uncertainty over the new “rules of the game,” corruption was pervasive and on a scale rarely seen in other periods of history. This was a specific set of challenges that few countries outside of Eastern Europe had to face.

And so while Russia looks like a sclerotic failure when you compare it to China or India, it looks a lot better when you compare it to Poland or Romania:

This won’t necessarily be true in the future: it’s entirely possible that, five years from now, Russia will lag behind other parts of Central and Eastern Europe that have made a more concerted effort at economic reform. But at the moment Russia is simply not lagging behind the countries to which it is most similar. It’s performance is very much in line with the region.

Russia’s economy clearly has a lot of problems, with persistently high capital flight at the top of the list and corruption not far behind. But I still think it is noteworthy that virtually every country in the region has gone through a period of protracted economic weakness over the past several years. Some of Russia’s slowdown is domestic in nature, but when a decelerating Russia is still growing more quickly than traditionally strong performers like Poland and Slovakia, it strongly suggests that there is something that is negatively impacting the entire region’s economy.

Whatever that “something” is, whether it’s excessively tight money from the ECB or the initial impact of the demographic shock of the early 1990′s, it cannot be solved by any one country acting alone. Which is to say that even if the Russian authorities suddenly get serious about economic reform, it probably won’t have much of a short-term impact.

Follow me on Twitter @MarkAdomanis or on Facebook

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and sla ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Khamenei wants less reliance on oil
Tehran, Oct 23 (IANS) Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on the country's officials Wednesday to formulate plans to cut Iran's dependence on oil revenues and manage the economy on the basis of the domestic capabilities.
 
 
Nigerian parliament approves $1 bn loan to fight Boko Haram
Lagos, Oct 23 (IANS) The Nigerian House of Representatives Wednesday approved President Goodluck Jonathan's request to borrow not more than one billion dollars to tackle the security challenges facing the country.
 
 
Kenya to train 30,000 health workers on Ebola
Nairobi, Oct 23 (IANS) Kenya has plans to train 30,000 health workers on Ebola screening, prevention, control and case management, the health ministry said Wednesday.
 
 
Germany pledges additional five mn euros to fight Ebola
Berlin, Oct 22 (IANS) Germany Wednesday said it would provide over five million euros ($6 million) in additional funds to promote Ebola research.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

European Champions League standings
Paris, Oct 22 (IANS) Following are the European Champions League standings for Groups E to H after Tuesday's matches (tabulated under matches played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, against, points), according to Xinhua...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Rogerio set to break Giggs world record
Rio de Janeiro, Oct 22 (IANS) Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni is one victory away from earning his fourth Guinness World Record by eclipsing a mark held by Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs. The 41-year-old will...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ryan Reynolds can't keep his hands off Blake Lively
Ryan Reynolds was ''really sweet'' to Blake Lively at the Angel City Ball. The couple, who got married in September 2012, made their first red carpet appearance together in New York City on Monday night (10.20.14) since...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kris Jenner doesn't know who Bruce Jenner is dating
Kris Jenner has ''no idea'' whether Bruce Jenner is dating her best friend. The 58-year-old reality TV star, who split from the Olympic gold medallist last October after 23 years of marriage, claims she doesn't know if...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
When Rihanna dressed like 'Harry Potter'
New York, Oct 22 (IANS) Singer Rihanna was spotted here in a Harry Potter style costume. She wore the wizard-like get-up while heading for a business meal here Monday, reports mirror.co.uk. The 26-year-old combined a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Germany raises humanitarian aid to Iraq
Berlin, Oct 22 (IANS) Germany has pledged a further 20 million euros (about 25.5 million dollars) in humanitarian aid to Iraq, the foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday. The additional funds are immediately...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
India calls on Israel, Palestine to resume peace process
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) India has called upon Israelis and Palestinians to resume the peace process as "dialogue remains the only viable option" to address the issues confronting the region. In a brief statement...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Airstrikes help ground forces fight IS: Pentagon
Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) Kurdish forces are in control of the majority of the Syrian city of Kobane despite efforts by the Islamic State (IS) to take the town, a spokesperson for US defence department said Tuesday....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Palestine, Israel urged at UN to halt unilateral initiatives
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Tuesday called on Palestine and Israel to overcome differences and halt unilateral initiatives that fuel mistrust, so as to pursue long-term stability in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
China urges Israel to create conditions for peace
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) Chinese government has called on Israel to create necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks with Palestine. At an open debate of the Security Council on the situation of the...
Read more on Politics Balla