The analysis of economy development in the 4th quarter 2008 – 1st quarter 2010 demonstrates that at the moment the main factor contributing in recession overcoming is the growth of external demand. As a result of 2009 the growth of the net export in the GDP made 56.8%. This figure had positive dynamics throughout the whole year. According to the preliminary data for the 1st quarter 2010 the Russian export in value terms rose by 59.3% versus the corresponding period of ---I II III IV I II III IV I 2008 2009 Gross domestic product Final consumptio nof households Investments in fixed assets Net export Total number of unemployed Source: Federal State Statistics Service; 2010 – preliminary estimation Fig. 1. Change in GDP Dynamics as Broken by Components of Use and total Number of Unemployed in 2008– 2010, as percentage to the corresponding period of the previous year REAL ECONOMY SECTOR^ TRENDS AND FACTORS the previous year, import – by 17.7%, foreign trade balance – by 2.1 times – from USD 19.6 billion to USD 40.8 billion.
The reduction in the investment activity continued to dominate the economic situation at the domestic market. Over the 1st quarter 2010 the investments in fixed assets decreased by 4.7%, the workload in construction – by 8.1%. It should be taken into account that the continuing reduction of housing construction rates, as well as focus of the enterprises on less capital intensive directions for production expansion, for instance, at the expense of the facilities load increase that were the factors determining low investment activity. It should be noted that the economy from the capital costs was accompanied by some increase of the demand for the work force if compared with 1st quarter 2009, when the maximum of the unemployment and the number of part-time workers, those on the leave because of the administrative initiatives was observed. As a result of “exchange” between labor and capital factors, supported by slack dynamics of real wages growth, the economic situation was defined by the action of inertial trends of 2009. Besides, against the background of interest rates reduction, increase of export earnings, rise of banking sector liquidity, increase of the volumes of funds attracted by credit organization and reduction in absolute scale of capital outflow down to USD 12.9 billion versus USD 35.0 billion in the 1st quarter 2010, low investment activity testifies that the business does not have steady expectations concerning quick recovery from the crisis.
At the consumer market, the retail trade turnover increasing by 1.3%,the contraction of paid services market made 0.9% versus the 1st quarter 2009. The inflation rates slowing in the 1st quarter 2010 down to 3.2% versus 5.4% in the 1st quarter 2009, inflation of foodstuffs being 3.8% versus 5.0% and for non-food goods – 5.4% versus 8.5% a year ago, the real incomes of the population growing by 7.4%, the situation at the consumer market reflects low consumer expectations of the population.
Comparison of the goods turnover dynamics by the kinds of goods and the structure of population expenditures indicates that the expenses of the population for the current needs at the expense of the reduction of non-food goods purchase and services consumption. In the 1st quarter 2010 retail trade turnover index for foodstuffs made 103.9% and for non-food goods – 98.9% versus the corresponding period of the previous year. The proportion of expenses for goods purchase in the monetary incomes of the population reduced as compared with the previous year by 3.5 percentage points. The sustention of the trend for the growth of savings and the restraint at the credit market was characteristics for the consumers’ behavior at the beginning of 2010. In this connection it should be noted, first, that in the 1st quarter 2010 real wages went up by 2.2%, and it is labor remuneration that forms the dominating part of population incomes, and, second, that the tension at the labor market sustains.
In the 1st quarter 2010 in concordance with the preliminary data on population monitoring concerning the unemployment problems, 6.6 million or 8.7% of economically active population is unemployed were classified (according to ILO methodology as the unemployed). At the state unemployment services there were 2.2 million registered as unemployed, including 1.9 million receiving unemployment benefit. As compared with the 4th quarter 2009 the total number of the unemployed went up by 8.2%, and registered – by 8.5%.
Index of industrial production in the 1st quarter 2010 as compared with the 1st quarter 2009 made 105.8% and 89.9% versus the 4th quarter of 2009. In February and March of the current year the rates of industrial production versus the corresponding period of the previous year became positive and made 104.8% and 115.3%, correspondingly. It should be noted that the growth of production was observed for all consolidated types of economic activities. Index of minerals production made 106.7% versus the 1st quarter 2009, of manufacturing industries – 105.2%, of electricity, gas and water production and distribution – 107.1%. Oil production went up by 5.3% versus the 1st quarter 2009, and gas production – by 18.4%.
It was the recovery of monthly positive dynamics of manufacturing industries versus the corresponding months of 2009 that was a positive moment in the first months of 2010. In the manufacturing industries the differentiation of the production output rates in natural terms remains high.
Taking into account the fact that the 1st quarter of 2009 accounted for the most dramatic output RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES drop, low base defined the upsurge of the rates at the beginning of the current year, but does not give enough grounds to talk about the steady dynamics of economy recovery.
Table PRODUCTION INDICES AS BROKEN BY TYPES OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES IN THE 1ST QUARTERS 2007-009, AS PERCENTAGE VERSUS THE CORRESPONDING PERIOD OF THE PREVIOUS YEAR 2007 2008 2009 Industry 107.2 106.2 85.7 105.Minerals extraction 104.0 100.7 96.2 106.Fossil fuels extraction 103.8 102.7 100.4 106.Minerals extraction excluding fossil fuels 107.9 92.2 96.2 111.Manufacturing industries 114.5 108.7 79.2 105.Production of foodstuffs, including beverages 113.7 106.4 96.7 103.Textile and sewing 110.8 102.6 78.8 110.Leather, leather goods and footwear 118.7 106.6 83.0 125.Wood processing and timber goods 111.0 115.6 70.8 112.Pulp and paper, publishing and printing 110.8 107.8 82.0 106.Coke and oil products 106.0 105.0 96.3 105.Chemistry 110.6 103.7 77.6 127.Rubber and plastic goods 124.1 130.4 82.7 119.Production of other non-metal mineral commodities 125.8 108.6 67.8 108.Metallurgy industry and production of finished metal goods 108.2 108.6 72.3 107.Machinery and equipment 126.0 116.4 74.3 100.Electric, electronic and optical equipment 123.7 93.3 56.6 131.Transport vehicles and equipment 116.4 114.4 64.5 109.Other industries 112.9 118.6 79.3 114.Electricity, gas and water production and distribution 93.3 105.6 94.9 107.Source: Federal State Statistics Service On the basis of the existing trends the RF Ministry of Economic Development suggests specifying the forecast for 2010 in May. According to the basic forecast of the RFMinistry of Finnace the GDP as a result of the year was estimated to be in therange of 3-3.5%, oil prices being USD 68-per barrel. Taking into account the growth of the economy, in January-March the possible GDP growth in 2001 may make 4%.
The IMF also reconsidered the forecast concerning Russia’s GDP dynamics. The analysts of the Fund optimistically estimate the economy situationin Russia this year and have increased the GDP growth forecast from 3.6% to 4%.
FOREIGN TRADE FOREIGN TRADE N.Volovik. K.Rezenkova Improvement of the situation at the world market and ruble strengthening have resulted in a significant increase of the main Russia foreign trade indices at the beginning of 2010.
The World Trade Organization in 2010 expects the volume of the world trade to rise by 9.5% after the record-breaking (in the past 65 years) recession of the previous year. Taking into account the current forecasts for the growth of the world GDP as well as the stability of oil prices and the exchange rates of the main currencies, the WTO predicts that the export of the developing `countries will increase by 11% in 2010, the export of the developed countries going up by 7.5%.
The Russian foreign trade turnover calculated on the basis of the balance of payments methodology made USD 46.1 billion in February 2010, which by 43.8% exceeds the corresponding figure of 2009. Export made USD 30.6 billion, which is by 64.7% more than a year ago. As compared with the previous month export went up by 9.9%.
The growth of export value was mainly due to the rise of world prices for raw materials. The proportion of the raw materials in the Russian export has not reduced as compared with the precrisis period, its dynamics being totally dependent on the unstable prices and demand on the external markets.
Table GOODS EXPORT INDICES (FEBRUARY 2010 AS PERCENTAGE VERSUS FEBRUARY 2009) Of physical volume Of average prices Export (total) 121.1 119.to non-CIS countries 124.1 121.to CIS countries 105.5 108.Source: Ministry for Economic Development Balance Export Import 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Source: Central Bank of the Russian Federation Fig. 1. Main Indices of Russian Foreign Trade (as USD billion) Jul Jul Jun Jun Jan Apr Jan Apr Jan Feb Feb Sep Oct Mar Sep Oct Mar Aug Aug Nov Dec May Nov Dec May RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES At the beginning of 2010 the physical volumes of the Russian export were also observed to grow.
It was the export to non-CIS countries that grew at faster rates.
Negative news about the situation in the world economy (Greece’s problems with budget and debt difficulties of some European countries) caused the process for crude oil to drop at the beginning of February. However against the background of expectations for the global demand to recover (primarily in China) the prices for oil had started to grow by the beginning of February. The decrease in oil reserves and the increase of facilities load in the USA have considerably supported the market. The earthquake in Chile was an additional factor for the prices increase. On the whole as a result of February the price for oil grade Brent reduced by 3% versus January, however when compared with February 2009 the growth made 70.5%.
In February 2010 the price for oil grade Urals made USD 72.7 per barrel, which is by 1.7 times more than the level of February 2009, but is 4.2% below the level of January 2010.
Starting with March the prices for oil at the world market have been fluctuating in the range from USD 70 to 80 per barrel. At the beginning of April the price for oil set a new half-year maximum and exceeded USD 85 per barrel.
Starting with May, 1st export duty rate for Russian oil may rise up to USD 281-284 per ton, or by nearly USD 15. Thus, export duty rate for oil has been increasing for the second month in the row.
From March, 1st it was lowered for the first time since the beginning of the year – to USD 253.per barrel, and then it continued to increase. The maximum of USD 495 per barrel was achieved in August 2008.
By the middle of February the sharp drop of prices for non-ferrous metals, caused by the measures of the government of China concerning the toughening of the credit and monetary policy, ceased and the earthquake in Chile provoked panic at the market, which resulted in the recovery of prices growth.
The prices for metals in February have considerably exceeded the levels of the previous year. According to the data of the London Metal Exchange the prices over the year have increased: by 2.times for copper, by 1.8 times – for nickel, by 1.5 times – for aluminum, by 35.5% - for ferrous metals; versus January 2010 the prices for copper dropped by 7.3%, for aluminum – by 8.3%, whereas prices for nickel went up b 2.9% and for ferrous metals – by 0.6%.
Table AVERAGE MONTHLY WORLD PRICES IN FEBRUARY OF CORRESPONDING YEAR 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Oil (Brent), 10.8 26.9 27.2 20.3 32.1 30.9 44.8 59.7 58.26 92.66 43.87 74.USD/barrel Natural gas, USD/1 million 2.036 2.828 5.642 2.260 6.367 5.407 6.242 6.128 7.606 8.58 4.414 5.BTU Petrol, 0.524 0.934 0.882 0.616 1.045 1.045 1.37 1.734 1.662 2.48 1.262 2.USD/gallon Copper, 1414.8 1779.1 1811.4 1601.5 1705.9 2759.0 3254 4982 5671.1 7887.7 3314.7 6848.USD/ton Aluminum, 1188.1 1584.2 1602.1 1370.8 1428.04 1685.6 1883 2455 2759.14 2776.9 1330.2 2048.USD/ton Nickel, 4629.4 10269.6 6544.6 6042.7 8619.64 15178.3 15350 14979 41154.5 27955.5 10409 USD/ton Source: calculated on the basis of data of London Metal Exchange, International Oil Exchange (London) In February 2010 Russian import was equal to USD 15.4 billion, which is by 14.8% more than a year ago or by 36.3% more than in January of the current year. The import growth was assisted by the strengthening of real ruble exchange rate, which, according to the calculation of the RF Ministry for Economic Development made 2.4% over February of the current year.
At the beginning of 2010 the import prices both from CIS and non-CIS countries were observed to increase. The physical volumes of import from CIS countries exceeded considerable the supplies from non-CIS countries.
FOREIGN TRADE Table GOODS EXPORT INDICES (FEBRUARY 2010 AS PERCENTAGE VERSUS FEBRUARY 2009) Of physical volume Of average prices Import (total) 112.9 101.To non-CIS countries 108.5 100.To CIS countries 148.6 104.Source: Ministry for Economic Development It is the chemistry industry, which increased the import of goods in annual terms by 30.8%, and foodstuffs production, in which import growth made 26.2%, that were the leaders of import recovery both in February and January 2010. The growth of import supplies volumes in foodstuffs production is mainly accounted for by the growth of consumer demand together with the recovery of reserved. The importers of chemistry goods renew the stocks only against the background of lower prices and expectations for the recovery of internal demand.
The recovery rates of textile and footwear import are also on the rise, this kind of import exceeding the Figures of February 2009 by 16.1%, which can be accounted for by not only the rise of import physical volumes, but also by the growth of import prices.
One should mention the sharp growth of the goods of light industry import. Thus, the growth of textile and sewing goods as compared with January of the current year went up by 16.7%.
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