Estimate of Key Aggregates of the Balance of Payments of the Russian Federation in January–August 2019

According to Bank of Russia’s estimate, the surplus in the current account of the balance of payments of the Russian Federation in January–August 2019 amounted to $54.4 billion against $64.2 billion in January–August 2018. The aggregate’s reduction was stipulated, mainly, by the diminishing by $10.3 billion surplus in the trade balance due to declining values of export supplies of energy commodities against a backdrop of unfavorable market conditions. The negative balance on trade in services widened insignificantly as a result of growing imports of services while the volume of export transactions remained at the previous year’s level. The influence of other current account components on overall current account balance was also negligible.

The surplus on financial transactions of the private sector in January–August 2019 reached $26.1 billion (from $20.6 billion in January–August 2018). The aggregate’s dynamics was driven, primarily, by the buildup of foreign assets of banks and other sectors. Cumulative external liabilities that were shaped by multidirectional flows (from banks in repayment of external debt and toward other sectors attracting funding) had virtually neutral effect on the magnitude of the resulting outcome.

As a result of transactions, international reserves gained $45.4 billion (against the preceding year’s January–August gain of $36.1 billion). Like in the year earlier, the bulk of their replenishment was secured through foreign currency purchases in the domestic market under the fiscal rule, which was complemented with receipt of proceeds from sovereign bond placements on the international market.

Billions of US dollars

Aggregates January–August 2019
(estimate)
January–August 2018
Current account $54.4 $64.2
Trade balance $108.1 $118.4
Balance on financial transactions of the private sector $26.1 $20.6
Change in reserve assets* $45.4 $36.1

* Reported data.

10 September 2019

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