The Gaidar Institute (IEP) presented the results of November market surveys of industrialists. As of November 17, the indicator of respondents’ optimism, calculated on the basis of data on actual demand dynamics, production forecasts, estimates of finished product inventories and current sales volumes, decreased slightly, while remaining at a historically high level - in the range of plus 19–21 points. The main reason for the slight decline in the industrial optimism index was a sharp change in the balance of estimates of finished goods inventories, which deteriorated from minus 4 points (indicating a lack of reserves) to plus 5 points (excess).
Demand in November, according to enterprise estimates, grew slightly less intensively than a month earlier. “But in general, the dynamics of demand in October-November 2023 remains the best since the beginning of the SVO - it has already exceeded the result of pre-war/pre-sanction February 2022,” note the authors of the study. Enterprises' assessments of sales volume on a scale of “above normal - normal - below normal” also demonstrate better results for this period.
The IEP believes that in November industrialists decided to return to the formation of a manageable excess of finished product inventories. The balance of their assessments over the month increased by 9 points and became positive: the share of answers “above the norm” for the third time since the covid crisis exceeded the share of answers “below the norm” (see graph). “This was first observed in September 2022, and then repeated in June 2023. But in neither case were domestic enterprises able (or did not dare) to retain this excess for more than one month, and its value was insignificant: plus 1 point and plus 4 points, respectively,” notes the IEP. Now the balance has reached plus 5 points, and if the indicator remains positive in the coming months, it will be possible to talk about the formation at the enterprise level of both confidence in the sustainability of industrial growth and the ability to ensure it, the authors of the survey believe. It should be noted that industrial output plans are also becoming more optimistic after a symbolic decline in September, when the balance lost 6 points after the “sanction” maximum in August, analysts note.