Macroeconomic overview: global market
In 2021, the global economy started to recover following adaptation to COVID-19 control measures and lifting strict lockdowns that disrupted all global processes in 2020. The growth of COVID-19 vaccination level around the world, relaxation of quarantine restrictions, and large-scale incentives in some countries revived the global consumer demand and stabilised business operations. The complete recovery has not been reached yet, as rapid achievement of a high vaccination level around the world is impossible and new virus variants appear. Energy crisis, the Suez Canal blocking, stronger trend towards eco-friendliness, growing demand for production, and inflation pressure all contributed to market volatility in 2021.
Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI)
JP Morgan Global Composite PMI, a global business activity index, continued recovering from early 2021. In May 2021 it reached its maximum of 58.5 points (vs 42.4 points in May 2020), after the economy partially recovered and before new lockdown restrictions were introduced.
Throughout 2021, the index was above the psychological threshold of 50 points.
In the reporting year, global trade continued to recover. In February 2021, the largest trade flow from China to the US demonstrated a double-digit growth. This is an evidence of the continuing trend towards household spending redistribution from services to tangible assets. In Q2 2021, the recovery rate lowered on the back of the repeated worsening of epidemiological situation in some countries. However, the indicators were not as disastrous as in 2020.
Epidemiological agenda continued to play an important role in the recovery of global economies. The growing vaccination level around the world drove the world’s economy. The immunisation rate around the world has a direct impact on border opening and change in consumer demand.
China demonstrated the highest vaccination level due to its policy of zero COVID-19 tolerance.
Q3 2021 saw a spike in energy prices (oil and natural gas), which reached their maximum in October. Such situation was connected with the energy crisis caused by China’s restrictions with respect to its carbon neutrality: the country reduced coal mining and procurement, which resulted in the imposition of quotas for energy consumption by companies and households, and shutdown of some production facilities. In addition, climatic conditions resulted in the shortage of wind energy and considerable growth of gas consumption in Europe. All these caused the energy prices to grow.
Starting Q4 2021, the energy crisis in China withered due to higher energy imports. As a result, energy consumption restrictions for industrial facilities were lifted and production recovered.
Macroeconomic overview: Russia
The pandemic-related restrictions entailed global imbalance of container turnover, which adversely impacted the industry globally and caused an increase in the maritime freight rates. Thanks to its specifics, the Russian container market, however, especially rail transportation, avoided large-scale losses from the restrictions.
In 2021, the key macro indicators of the Russian market recovered relative to 2020, with retail trade demonstrating the most notable growth.
Over the past year, PMI dynamics in Russia was below the global values. Russia Composite PMI reached the yearly maximum of 56.2 in May. However, in August (48.2), October (49.5), and November (48.4) it was below the psychological threshold due to an increased rate of COVID-19 cases in Russia and a new variant, Omicron.