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Article

Поворотные точки российского экономического цикла, 1981-2015 гг.

Смирнов С. В., Кондрашов Н. В., Петроневич А. В.

At first, we discuss whether the concept of economic cycles is at all applicable to the realities of the Russian economy. As for several subperiods during the last 35 years, it has been not only market but planned and transformed also, this issue is arguable. But in our opinion, all mid-term factors of total economic activity – positive as well as negative – may be divided into three groups: an exhaustion of old drivers for economic growth or an emergence of new ones; positive or negative external shocks; destructive or constructive decisions and actions made by monetary and non-monetary authorities. From this point on, mid-term fluctuations in the level of economic activity (and in the volume of output) may be described as a sequence of non-periodic expansions and contractions. In other words, as a phenomenon of cyclical economic movements with its peaks and troughs.

On these grounds, we established a reference chronology for the Russian economic cycle from the early 1980s to mid-2015. As there is no single monthly indicator available for the whole period, we used a set of indices. To be precise, six indices of industrial production and three indices of output by basic branches (official as well as non-official). We also tried two methods of seasonal adjustments (X-12-ARIMA and TRAMO/SEATS) and four methods for dating cyclical turning points (local min/max, Bry-Boschan, Harding-Pagan, and Markov-Switching model). As various combinations of initial data and various statistical methods usually led to different estimates of peaks and troughs, the final decision was made according to several additional qualitative criteria. The resulting set of turning points looks plausible and separates expansions and contractions in an explicable manner, but further investigations and discussions are needed to establish a consensus in the expert community.