By Andrei Skvarsky.
A survey by a Deutsche Börse research subsidiary has shown growing optimism among Russian companies for the second consecutive month in February, but the think tank largely attributes this to the Sochi Olympics and warns the upturn may not last.
MNI Indicators, which is owned by the German stock exchange, said 71% of respondents in February’s MNI Russia Business Sentiment poll said they believed the Sochi games had had, or would have, a positive impact on their business.
There was a major increase in new orders, order backlogs swelled, and a growing inflow of orders was expected in the coming three months.
The recent depreciation of the ruble was one more booster. More companies said the weaker ruble was helping their business. “While there are risks that the depreciation in the currency could go too far and too fast,” said MNI Indicators chief economist Philip Uglow, “the recent fall should balance Russia’s growth and help domestic producers.”
Uglow said the Olympics’ impact on sentiment in Russia’s business community “is likely to be short lived”. Earlier, he argued Russia needed serious structural reforms to be able to achieve any sustainable growth.
MNI Russia Business Sentiment is a monthly poll of Russian business executives at around 200 Russian companies – manufacturing, service, construction and agricultural firms – listed on Moscow Exchange.
Respondents are asked their opinion on whether a particular business activity has increased, decreased or remained the same compared with the previous month as well as their expectations for three months ahead.
Data are collected through computer-aided telephone interviews.