Business Cycles in the Russian Service Sector
On 11–14 September 2018 the 34th CIRET (Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys) conference took place in Rio de Janeiro, where Tamara Lipkind, Leading Expert at the HSE ISSEK Centre for Business Tendencies Studies presented a report on business cycles in the Russian service sector.
The CIRET conference annually gathers leading researchers and practitioners of economic tendency surveys. This year it was held for the 34th time, hosted jointly by the Instituto Brasileiro de Economia (IBRE), the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), and the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF).
Apart from new methodological approaches, results of their application, and economic activity surveys (including development and application of new surveying techniques, and improvement of cyclic indicators), the conference participants discussed the scope for applying big data in statistics, economic surveys, and business cycle analysis. 'Use of Big Data in Economic Cycle Statistics and Research' was chosen as the forum’s special topic.
Big data is relevant in practically all research areas, including economic statistics and business cycle analysis. However, like any tool, big data not only opens new opportunities for researchers but creates new problems for them too. The obvious pluses include new, more up-to-date and/or 'high-frequency' data, and a possibility to analyse various economic activity types the conventional observation techniques tend to overlook. However, this requires developing new or adapting existing econometric and statistical methods and models, not just to analyse big data arrays but also to collect, process, and store data.
The report 'Information content of the Russian services surveys' by the HSE ISSEK Centre for Business Tendencies Studies experts Tamara Lipkind, Ludmila Kitrar, and Georgy Ostapkovich presents information collected by surveying Russian service sector companies, and application of the collected data in monitoring studies and to forecast economic growth in real time. Tamara Lipkind presented the report at the CIRET conference.
The same team also wrote a chapter for the monograph 'Business Cycles in BRICS' published in September 2018 by Springer Publishers (entitled 'Russian Business Tendency Surveys by HSE and Rosstat'). A special round table discussion was devoted to this publication at the CIRET conference.
The service sector, despite its steadily growing share in developed countries’ GDP, rarely becomes the focus of economic studies: industry, as the recognised business cycle driver, typically receives the most attention. However, interest in services as a source of valuable information about economic development is currently growing, so the report about the Russian experience of surveying service sector firms was highly appreciated by the conference hosts and participants.
Leading Expert at the HSE ISSEK Centre for Business Tendencies Studies
A review of Tamara Lipkind’s presentations at the CIRET 2016 conference (Online Nowcasting), and the 2nd international workshop 'Harmonising Entrepreneurial Surveys in BRICS Countries' ('Swiss harmonisation of economic tendency surveys in the BRICS group' – in Russian)
Business climate in the service sector in the 2nd quarter of 2018, and all newsletters of the Centre for Business Tendencies Studies – in Russian