There is almost no hope for increase of productivity and efficiency

12 october 2015 | Kommersant

Investments in Russia have moved for long to the "red zone", exacerbating the economic downturn and increasing the technological backwardness of the country. The falling demand makes investments in the expansion of production senseless, and it is now too risky to invest in modernization with a view to future growth.

Alexander Golyashev
Alexander Golyashev
Department for Research Studies

As it is noted in the Bulletin "Dynamics of investment activity in the conditions of recession of the economy of Russia" (in Russian), about a quarter of the world's GDP is spent on ensuring future economic growth. In 2014, developed countries directed 20-21% of GDP for investments; in developing countries, excluding China, - 24% (in China, according to the IMF - 46.4%). In Russia - 20%. In fact, since the early 2000s, the rate of accumulation of fixed capital in Russia in the middle corresponds to the level of developed countries, but that, according to the report, is not enough for modernization.

The decline in investments in machinery and equipment points on future issues - a lack of technology (quite notable now). "In the years 2005-2014, it decreased from 41% to 36%, in 2014 investments into this type of fixed assets decreased by 10% at once, returning almost to the level of 2008. However, in 2015 the advancing fall has stopped. Nowadays this type of investment falls at rates similar to decline in gross investments," Alexander Golyashev, the expert of the Analytical Center, commented on the situation to "Kommersant-Dengi." According to him, in the first half of the year the share of investments in machinery, equipment and vehicles remained almost at the level of the first half of 2014, 34.2% versus 34.3% (for reference: in the first half of 2013 - 37%). In short, there is almost no hope for increase of productivity and efficiency, the expert believes.

Mr.Golyashev also noted that statistics by sources of investments confirms the increasing role of budgetary funds. "The first half of 2015 showed a strong drop in almost all external sources of financing: bank loans has fallen by 20%, loans to other entities - by 26%, means higher structures - by 23%," the expert said. According to him, the volume of budgetary funds decreased by only 4%, and only at the expense of the regional budget (minus 15%), while federal funding has increased by 6% year on year. Not surprisingly, polls of the Yegor Gaidar IEP show a positive balance of the investment plans at the state-owned enterprises (23.48 in September), while private companies are pessimistic (the general index - minus 17), Mr. Golyashev noted.