Russian cyclical indicators and their usefulness in real time: An experience of the 2008-09 recession
This report investigates the predictability of cyclical turning points in Russia. For years, anyone interested in Russia had access to a full set of common tools for business cycle analysis, such as several composite leading indicators, a purchasing managers’ index, enterprise and consumer sentiment indexes, and so on. However, the 2008-09 world financial crisis spread throughout Russia quite unexpectedly for most politicians, businessmen and experts alike. Is it possible that none of existing indexes were able to say anything about the approaching decline? Using a simple “rule of thumb” proposed in this report one may easily see that in reality this was not the case. So then why did a more or less definite forecast provided by some indexes have no consequences for common economic sentiments in Russia? This report gives some answers to this question.