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Working paper

Information Contetnt of the Russian Services Surveys

The paper explores the information content of surveys of the Russian services sector using the surveys’ results since 2012Q1 to 2018Q4. To summarise entrepreneurial opinions in a one-dimensional index the indicators of confidence and business climate are calculated. To examine the reaction of GDP to impulses in the business climate indicator and to forecast GDP growth by the end of 2019, the Vector Autoregression Model was used. The results of services surveys provide reliable information on the economic sentiment that is essential to measure recession and recovery development of the sector. Since 2013, the survey’s results demonstrate a stable five-year trend of ‘pessimism accumulation’ in the indicators dynamics. The slight increase in entrepreneurial optimism in 2016-2018 did not result in moving confidence to a positive zone. The business climate indicator (BCI) performs better than the traditional confidence indicator in terms of synchronous correlations with GDP growth. A longer observation period needs to draw conclusions about the BCI cyclic properties; however, it can be used now to analyze the development of the Russian services sector.