In 2023, Russia may see a budget deficit of some 4.5-5 trillion rubles ($60.7-67.4 billion), or 3-3.3% of GDP, even without new shocks due to a higher volatility in its oil and gas revenues, Russia’s Expert RA credit rating agency said in its macroeconomic forecast.
"In 2023, we expect [Russia] to continue having a budget deficit of some 4.5-5 trillion rubles, or 3-3.3% of GDP, even without any new shocks amid a heightened volatility in oil and gas revenues," according to the forecast.
A weaker ruble may help cover the budget gap, but the scale of its weakening will hardly be sufficient enough, Expert RA predicts. According to it, while the government is unlikely to introduce a one-off windfall tax on big business it has been mulling of late, a hidden tax increase, for example via an early cancelation of tax relief on foreign exchange gains, looks quite possible.
Also, a potential budget consolidation will heavily depend on the geopolitical situation and export prices, while a sharp narrowing in the deficit being foreseen in the three-year budget does not seem likely yet, Expert RA concluded.