With some positive (albeit very weak still) changes in the Russian macroeconomic news in recent months, it is worth looking at the evolution of trends in Russian policy uncertainty, as measured by the data.
Here is an updated (through August 2016) chart comparing news-based indices of policy uncertainty in Russia and the EU.
Note, series above are re-based to the same starting point for the EU and Russia (to 1994 annual average) to make them compatible.
Things of note:
- Russian policy uncertainty continues to trend below that of the EU.
- The above conclusion is also confirmed in raw data 3mo averages and 3mo exponential moving averages.
- This is nothing new, as general policy uncertainty has been systemically lower in Russia than in Europe since the peak of the Russian Default crisis of the late 1990s, with the exception for two episodes: brief period in 2006-2007 - the starting point of Russian-Georgian trade and migration pressures; and 2014-2015 period - marked by first economic slowdown in the early 2014, followed by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the Ruble crisis.
- Generally, the EU continues to show growing trend divergence with Russia when it comes to policy uncertainty, despite the more moderation in the underlying series since the end of the latest spike caused by the Greek crisis earlier this year (IMF participation and Tranche 2 disbursement).
It is worth noting that, despite a rise in the U.S. uncertainty index due to the ongoing election cycle, the U.S. comparatives are similar to those of Russia, as opposed to the EU.