“You see how unstable everything is.”
The head of the Ministry of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov saw no fundamental reasons for the weakening of the ruble. The recent strengthening of the dollar is due to “nervousness” in other countries, he said. According to the minister, the ruble “will be weaker.” Against this background, inflation will accelerate in the non-food segment and the service sector. How right is the head of the economic department in his assessments and whether a further depreciation of the ruble should be expected, experts told MK.
This week the dollar rate exceeded 75 rubles. The reason for the weakening was the statements of US President Joe Biden about the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve. The same decision was made by other oil-consuming countries, including China, India, Japan, Korea and the UK. This step was taken to reduce oil prices on world markets, to which the domestic currency immediately reacted. Overall, the ruble has been weakening against the dollar and euro since the end of last month. So, on October 22, the dollar dropped below 70 rubles, and by October 25, the euro was cheaper than 81 rubles. And today, November 25, at the opening of trading, the “American” was at the level of 74.3 rubles and the euro – in the region of 83.4 rubles.
“You see how unstable everything is,” stressed Maxim Reshetnikov, commenting on the situation. – The weakening of the rate of recent days, which, by and large, has no fundamental reasons, but nevertheless happened – a factor has now been added to the rumors, on the events in developing countries, Turkey. Obviously, all this nervousness will be present in the coming weeks. ” Against the background of a further weakening of the ruble, inflation will accelerate in the non-food segment and the service sector, the minister said.
The situation with the rise in prices and the ruble exchange rate has long worried parliamentarians. And now they started talking about extreme measures – about “accurate” devaluation. This proposal was made on November 23 by Oleg Savchenko, deputy head of the State Duma’s financial market committee, commenting on the rise in the dollar rate to 75 rubles. Devaluation, in his opinion, needs to be done “accurately” and “predictably” for the leading industries, since the expensive dollar and euro are beneficial to the Russian economy. This will increase the opportunities of Russian exporters on the world markets. The parliamentarian admitted that the devaluation will negatively affect the financial situation of most Russians, so it is also necessary to carefully raise salaries.
Meanwhile, experts disagreed on the reasons for the decline in the ruble. “In recent years, we have never heard from the authorities that there are fundamental factors for the weakening of the ruble,” says Igor Nikolaev, Doctor of Economics. – On the contrary, everyone insisted that they did not exist. At the same time, the ruble is constantly weakening if we consider its rate over a long period of time. ” It’s just that some factors at first seem temporary, and then turn into permanent. For example, sanctions once seemed like a one-off phenomenon, but it turned out that they will last for a long time, and maybe forever. The same story with the pandemic. At the same time, the expert does not expect a strong weakening of the ruble this year. The optimal level, according to his forecast, is 74-75 rubles per dollar and 84-85 rubles per euro.
According to Dmitry Babin, an expert on the stock market “BCS World of Investments”, among the fundamental reasons for the weakening of the ruble are an increase in purchases of the Central Bank’s currency within the framework of the implementation of the budget rule, as well as a serious downward correction in the price of oil and gas. “The acceleration of inflation in the largest economies is pushing key central banks to more rapid tightening of monetary policy (that is, an increase in the key rate – N.T.), says the expert. “At the same time, the world economy is not yet capable of growing independently without monetary support.” Therefore, the risks of stagflation increase – this is the term for economic stagnation in conditions of high inflation. All this can cause a collapse of exchange-traded assets, many of which are in a financial bubble due to years of monetary pumping by central banks. Naturally, the implementation of such a scenario will lead to the flight of investors from developing assets, including ruble ones, as well as to a fall in commodity prices, which will only aggravate the situation for the Russian currency, the expert believes.