One of the research’ tasks is identifying ability of generalized indicators’ dynamic to mirror current and expected cyclic development of aggregate economic activity and to measure uncertainty as important concomitant factor of entrepreneurial behavior. To accomplish this task we continue testing sensitivity of survey results to phase’s alternation in the national economy cyclical development and possibility to assess retrospective turning points in GDP dynamics based on cyclical profile in Economic sentiment indicator.
An important objective of this study is actualization of methodological support for monitoring of small businesses in basic economic sectors/ this monitoring includes the extended set of indicators capable to give a rapid response and measure short-term development across sub-sectors, reflecting external and internal shocks, risks, factors of growth and vulnerability. Such monitoring contributes to measuring the landscape of information economy, to tracking trajectories of entrepreneurial behavior, and to measuring industrial activity in the framework of harmonized information system of industrial development statistics and analysis which are creating in the country.
Another research task is learning statistical practice of the OECD and BRICS countries, adaptation of Russian sectoral surveys’ methodology to the international standards of qualitative business statistics, updating database and accumulation data sets, fully comparable with their international counterparts.
Methodology of sectoral business tendency monitoring is mainly based on the international counterpart taking into account the peculiarities of the Russian economy. It is developed and updated using the scientific and practical resources of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER, USA), ifo Institute (Germany), OFCE (France), KOF ETH (Switzerland), ISAE (Italy), CIRET (Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys), joint projects of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Commission on harmonized business tendency surveys.
For monitoring results’ analyses we apply the fundamentals of mathematical statistics: statistical analysis of nonparametric information, econometric methods of decomposing the cyclical indicators dynamic, dynamic factor models for constructing aggregate indicators, and methods of cluster analysis for entrepreneurial behavior typology.
Empirical base of research
Empirical base of the study is information of regular, large scale business surveys in Russia. This is estimates and expectations of economic agents in basic sectors of the real economywith a total stratified sample of about 35 000 observation units in almost all regions of the country. Stratified sample of regular sectoral monitoring covers about 34 000 of observation units in almost all Russian regions. At the present time, sample includes about 4 000 large and medium industrial organizations (monthly), 6 500 construction companies (quarterly), 4 000 retail trade organizations (quarterly), 3 000 wholesale trade organizations (quarterly); 5 500 service organizations (quarterly), 900 organizations in the financial leasing (annually). Additionally, more than 3 000 respondents participated in the pilot surveys of the business climate in small businesses and IT organizations.
Results of research
Business tendency monitoring organized by the Centre for Business Tendency Studies in the framework of the HSE Basic Research Program is now the country's only tool that regularly generates real-time assessments of sectoral development path, which are either not available in quantitative statistics, or are not prompt. In particular, the results contributed to the extension of information that characterizes the current and expected profiles in cyclical development of sectoral and aggregate economic activity. The results of testing business surveys data sensitivity to phase alternating in the national business cycles demonstrated that the tracer of economic sentiment indicator short-term cycles, visualized the main results of the empirical time-series decomposition, almost synchronously captures all the turning points of short-term cycles in Russian GDP.
Another result of the study is creating methodological basis for using business tendency indicators that are able to evaluate the short-term trends in IT industry. The pilot survey program – 2015 allowed reflecting business trends in this market segment and provides information about the main points of growth, new segments emergence, prospects for the national market entry.
Pilot business tendency surveys of small businesses in industry, construction and trade provided information on possibilities for further development of these organizations, as well as their new forms and clusters.
A pilot survey of investment trends and entrepreneurial behavior in industry allowed us to measure the extent and main directions of import substitution. Respondents’ estimates of changes in the dynamics of industrial production, including the structural fluctuations of demand in a situation of switching from import to domestic products, are an additional benchmark for quantitative measurement of the import substitution effect.
Outcomes of the results implementation
Posed problems and obtained results allowed expanding information and analytical potentials of the relevant ministries and agencies, as well as the Central Bank of Russian Federation.
Business tendency monitoring results are effectively used in the practice of the Federal State Statistics Service, Ltd "Delovaya Rossia", the Ministry of Economic Development, the Statistics Department of the OECD, and other public research organizations. In 2015, the survey results continued to accumulate data array of the Industry and Trade Ministry of Russian Federation with qualitative information on sectoral business trends, which allows expanding the effectiveness of management decisions.
The total volume of information and analytical output prepared in framework of this study in 2013-2015 was more than 3 000 pages of analytical text, tables and graphs. Information and analytical papers were submitted regularly to the federal legislative and executive authorities, published in the national and regional mass media, and online. The main monitoring results are also included regularly in the OECD database "Business tendency and consumer opinion". All prepared materials are available on the HSE website.