SOVEREIGN ECONOMY: TOP EVENTS OF THE WEEK
The consolidated budget of Russia had a deficit of 2,356.7 billion rubles in January-May 2023, according to the website of the Federal Treasury. It increased by 621.8 billion rubles in May. The shortage of the federal budget of Russia in the first five months of 2023 amounted to 3,029.5 billion rubles. The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation has proposed a frontal reduction of government expenditures by 10% against this backdrop.
The Central Bank reports an increase in Russia's international reserves to $583.1 billion as of July 7. They increased by $0.7 billion over the week. However, there is a manipulation in the Central Bank's statistics - by definition, international reserves are highly liquid financial assets held by the Bank of Russia and the Russian government. The reported amount includes assets frozen in foreign accounts (not less than $300 billion).
There was an increased demand for cash in June, which lead to a liquidity outflow from banks amounting to 0.5 trillion rubles. One-fifth of this figure was attributed to the days of the unsuccessful military mutiny. People withdrew 0.1 trillion rubles on June 23-25, as stated in the commentary of the Central Bank of Russia.
EU is filling its gas storage facilities ahead of schedule, against Gazprom's warnings. The current level of reserves has reached 80.1%, which is 15 percentage points higher than the average for the same dates over the past five years, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe. Maintaining this intensity throughout the summer will allow the targeted level of 90% storage capacity to be achieved by the end of September.
The Prosecutor's Office of the Moscow Region has initiated an investigation of the American company Mars, specializing in food and animal feed products. The inspection covers its financing of the Ukrainian army and compliance with tax payments. It serves as a demonstrative enforcement action against the company, which announced the suspension of all its advertising campaigns in Russia and Belarus in March of last year, as well as a temporary halt to investments in Russia.