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Russian Companies Are Booming, Really?

Following the invasion of Ukraine, unprecedented sanctions were imposed on Russia. Russia has experienced a huge wave of emigration, with young and well-educated people leaving the country in particular. Russian companies are facing severe staff shortages. Russia had been selling its oil at discounts of up to 35% until the US$60 price cap was finally imposed. This could have led to a massive reduction in Russia’s current account surplus.

But for March 2023, the Russian Central Bank reports the highest level of the Russian Business Climate Index since April 2013 (both highlighted in blue). There is a lot of talk about Russian companies being able to quickly adjust to sanctions and strong growth in the arms industry, but the business climate survey result is surprising nonetheless…