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Regular version of the site

Article

The relationship of economic sentiment and GDP growth in Russia in light of the Covid-19 crisis

Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review. 2021. Vol. 9. No. 1. P. 7-29.

Objective: The objective of the article is to prove the empirical and predictive value of the aggregate opinions of businesses and households for expanding cyclical macroeconomic data in Russia, especially during the coronavirus shocks.

Research Design & Methods: We use qualitative information from surveys that cover about 24,000 organisations and 5100 households in all Russian regions. The total economic sentiment indicator (TESI) combines information on 18 survey-based indicators. Cross-correlation analysis, Hodrick-Prescott filtering, and a vector autoregressive (VAR) model with dummy variables are used as the research methods.

Findings: The study confirms an almost synchronous cyclic conformity of the gross domestic product (GDP) growth and TESI dynamics for the period of 1998–2020. Probable GDP growth until the end of 2021 is estimated based on the expected impulses in the TESI dynamics, including those due to the sudden impact of the coronavirus.

Implications & Recommendations: Assessments of business and household activity are reliable and available much earlier than quantitative statistics on GDP growth. Therefore, we advise using them as an early warning system about economic growth and take them into account in policymaking.

Contribution & Value Added: We are the first to confirm the effectiveness and reliability of TESI as a leading indicator of GDP growth in Russia, using data from large-scale business surveys and with a focus on crisis shocks.