The world is faced with a situation where any predictions can be made only with the proviso that a certain scenario will develop. And this is not surprising: it is on how the situation with the coronavirus pandemic will develop in the coming year that will determine the dynamics of the global and national economies, and individual macroeconomic indicators characterizing the state of affairs in the production and service sectors, and the labor market, and the demographic situation. , and the need for additional business incentives and social support measures, as well as the cost of raw materials, currencies and borrowed funds, and many other indicators.
To date, there is no more or less firm confidence that in 2021 the main scenarios will be in a neutral or clearly positive plane. As the experience of recent days has shown, even accelerated registration and mass production of vaccines against coronavirus do not give a full guarantee that problems will be resolved quickly. The identification of a new and much more aggressive strain of the virus, its ability to quickly mutate, creates risks that the measures taken to combat the coronavirus will not be effective enough. And this, in turn, is fraught with new lockdowns, a slowdown in the world economy, a decrease in demand for energy and metals, a squeeze in consumer demand, and so on.
Nevertheless, we will try in our forecasts to adhere to a neutral scenario, which assumes that from the second half of 2021 the incidence of COVID-19 will noticeably decline, which will not only return to normal life, but also create the preconditions for a gradual recovery.
In 2020, the domestic currency depreciated quite noticeably in relation to the leading world currencies, which was a consequence of the flight of investors from risky assets, a fall in the cost of hydrocarbons, the introduction of new sanctions against Russia and a number of other factors.
As a result, according to against the dollar the ruble fell by 19.7% over the year, and against the euro – by 30.46%.
In the coming year, it is quite possible to expect some strengthening of the domestic currency, firstly, due to the gradual recovery of the Russian economy from the crisis, and secondly, in the calculation that raw materials, the export of which now accounts for a significant share of budget revenues, will rise in price against the background of the revival of the world economy and demand for energy and metals.
The most likely scenario assumes that by the end of 2021 the value of the ruble will be in the range of 67-77 rubles per US dollar and 77-94 rubles per euro. However, in the case of a scenario that assumes the influence of unpredictable negative factors, a significant increase in volatility and exit for some time is quite possible. the value of the ruble at a level above 80-82 rubles per US dollar and 95-97 rubles per euro…
By the end of 2020, the cost of BRENT oil fell by 25.06%, while light Texas WTI fell by 21.81%. In 2021, OPEC + is likely to be able to keep the cost of hydrocarbons in a fairly stable price band. The experience gained in the spring of 2020 allows us to hope that in the future we will not witness a new round of price wars.
It is most likely that oil prices will gradually grow during the year, reaching $ 47-51 per barrel by the end of 2021. for BRENT grade and $ 43-47 / bbl. by grade WTI.
Gold showed very high growth rates last year, breaking through the landmark level of $ 2,000 per troy ounce in early August amid capital flight into defensive assets. Now prices for this precious metal have stabilized in the range of 1800-1900 dollars per troy ounce, having increased in price over the year by 21.86%. At the same time, silver rose in price by 42.59%, and palladium – by 24.85%.
In the current year, against the background of a gradual recovery of the world economy and an overflow of investments in riskier assets, it is quite possible to expect a 5-7% rebound in prices for basic precious metals from current levels.
The extremely soft monetary policy of most of the world’s central banks, unprecedented stimulus measures, the buyout of assets on the balance sheets of the Central Banks and the good dividend policy of many companies led to the outstripping growth of major stock indices in 2020.
Despite the rather slow recovery of the real sector of the global and national economies (with the exception of the rapidly growing China), the stock market showed good dynamics in 2020. And to the greatest extent this concerned American securities. Thus, the NASDAQ index added 43.13% over the year, the S&P 500 increased by 14.96%, while the Russian RTS and Moscow Exchange indices showed more modest dynamics: the first lost 11.01%, and the second added 6.58%.
At the same time, individual issuers also had their own record holders: TESLA shares soared by 697.89%, ZOOM shares increased by 461.72%, and among domestic corporations Polyus was noted, which rose by 113.14%, AFK Sistema, which grew by 90.50%, and Yandex, which added 83.49%.
The new year promises continued interest in investing in shares of both foreign and domestic corporations. The most promising markets look like the US, China and Russia. The first two are interesting, firstly, by the potentially high rates of recovery of their economies and a decrease in valuation coefficients due to the normalization of profits in cyclical industries. Domestic issuers continue to be of interest due to the general undervaluation of the market and good dividend stories.
In 2020, only China was able to boast of the positive dynamics of its GDP, which increased by 2%. All other developed and developing countries showed a decline in their economies, however, to a very different extent. Turkish GDP fell by 0.5%, the South Korean economy fell within 1.5 percent, the United States will show a decline of 3.5-4.3%, the Eurozone – 7.4-8.3%, and Russian GDP – by 3.8 –4.1%.
The coming year, even if a moderately negative scenario is realized, will be a year of recovery. If the situation develops in a neutral direction, then China will be able to grow by 8.2%, the United States – by 3.4-3.9%, the euro area – by 4.6-5.2%, and the domestic economy should grow by 2.7-3.0%. At the same time, the inflation rate by the end of next year should decrease from the current 4.7% to 3.6–4.0%. Real disposable incomes of the population will stop their decline and, in a positive scenario, they may start to grow at a rate of about 0.5–0.8% per year.
The monetary policy of the Bank of Russia will gradually shift from extremely soft to neutral, although in the event of a rapid slowdown in inflation, it cannot be ruled out that the regulator will lower the key rate by another 25 bp within a year. It should be borne in mind that a noticeable increase in inflation may force the Central Bank to return to a cycle of moderate rate hikes, and then, by the end of 2021, the interest rate may be in the range of 4.5-5.25%. One of the most important factors that will affect the rate of recovery of the domestic economy will be the government’s budgetary policy, which already now provides for a significant (by 10%) reduction in expenditures, as well as an increase in the fiscal burden due to an increase in MET rates for the extraction of fertilizers and metal ores. increase in personal income tax up to 15% from income exceeding 5 million rubles. per year, and the introduction of a tax on interest on deposits and operations with securities.