The source (not cleared from the seasonal factors) data on the dynamics in demand have again showed zero growth in November. This situation with the sales persisted in the industries since August. However, after clearance from seasonal and calendar factors, the growth rate of sales has acquired a positive value: the demand grew, with growth in October and November 2010 - the maximum for the current crisis. A similar situation was observed with the sales forecasts. On the eve of the New Year holidays, the businesses expected to reduce sales of their products, it becomes commonplace for producers and consumers. But the removal of seasonal factors has demonstrates the retention of the highest level of optimism in the forecasts of demand in the industries during the crisis. Positive dynamics of actual sales and forecasts have stabilized by estimates of satisfaction in the demand. After the August upsurge up to 62 per cent, the volatility in the share of normal estimates sales have gradually faded and were fixed at 58 per cent (see Fig. 7).
In November, the businesses have refused to minimize the stocks of finished goods and once again moved to the sustainability of a reasonable surplus. During the preceding five months the share of estimates "below normal" was slowly, but steadily growing up due to reduced share of responses "above normal". As a result, the balance of estimated reserves has become negative and has declined to the ten-year minimum. The industries was clearly loosing the belief in fast recovery of the growth in demand and have minimized their accumulation of storage, prepared for quickly satisfaction of the orders for new buyers. Such a policy of inventory of finished goods control in the businesses was usual in the 90 years of the twentieth century. It has reached the highest peak after August of 1998, when the growing demand and a lack of faith in the stability of post-crisis recovery of the industries have brought the balance of reserves estimates to the record of -25...- 21 points in the second half of 1999.
In November, the balance of reserves estimates became zero after 11 points in October.
Continuation of this trend in the next few months will mean that the industry has found faith in a speedy recovery. Although we cannot exclude that the growth of surplus stocks has been associated with the rejection of a moderate pricing policy and a transition (possibly forced) to a more intensive increase in the price.
Production capacity utilization rate indicates a growing intensity of the use of machinery and equipment in the industries. In the IV quarter of 2010, this index has increased to 68 per cent and reached the level of the end of 2005. However, since the II quarter of 2010 the load has increased by only 3 percentage points (see Fig. 14).
The assessment of overcapacity also did not change within this period. The.excess of equipment remained in the industries at the level of 13 points. In this case, 71 per cent of businesses had a normal, according to them, provision with the capacity for a possible increase in demand for their products. The latter index has returned to the pre-crisis level.
In November the rate of price growth has increased by several points and has reached the peak of the crisis - selling prices of businesses did not grow up so intensively since August 2008. After a relatively moderate price growth in June – September; from October the industries demonstrated their record growth. As judged by the forecasts, the companies were willing to increase prices, most likely, at the expense their sales volumes. Indeed, the sales growth rates were still very low and did not give industries sufficient grounds for demonstration of their market power. Moreover, comparison of changes in demand and prices has demonstrated, that in November the outpacing increase in prices against demand growth was regis RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks tered in the industries already at 29 per cent of the businesses, whereas within the preceding (except for the first, the most inflationary) months of 2010, this ratio of changes in demand versus prices was noted only at18-22 per cent of the enterprises.
Since the traditional New Year's upsurge of prices and tariffs was to come only in January 2011, we have to assume, that the industry was preparing for growth rate of insurance contributions (former UST). According to a special survey of IEP, conducted in May 2010, increased selling prices would be the most common reaction of businesses on this tax innovation. 70 per cent of respondents planned to behave this way. And it seems, that in November the companies have already started preemptive increase in prices, reducing the effectiveness of counter-inflationary policy of the authorities. The second most common response to the growth of the insurance payments should be reduced profits of the businesses, the third one - reduced social deductions for personnel.
Intensification of the actual increase in prices and the intention to maintain it was supported by the forecasts on excessive growth. In November in the Russian industry there was recorded the highest increase of overhead excessive costs over the past seven years. The balance of this index has increased within the quarter by 26 points and has reached +50 (see (See Fig. 21).
In November, the industry in general did not aggravate the situation in the Russian labor market at the expense of staff reduction. The rate of change of the index has not decreased, as it could be expected, according the October forecasts, to distinctly negative values. It remained in the zero zone, which showed the hold-on in employment, but did not mean the beginning of significant layoffs. The businesses seemed not to be able to define their staffing policies. Uncertainty was increased by the lack of positive dynamics in sales. If in the II quarter of 2010, industry got rid of (as a result of layoffs, and the growth of expectations for growth in demand) from the surplus labor resources, in the III quarter it clearly noted a lack of personnel, in the IV quarter this positive trend for the period of crisis has been broken. The lack of personnel has decreased by 7 points or almost disappeared. Plans to change the number of employees reached the annual minimum in November. Reductions were planned in all sectors, except for timber industry. The most intensive - in the construction industry and mechanical engineering.
By the end of the year, the situation in the Russian industry was influenced by contradictory trends. On the one hand, data on the dynamics of demand and output, cleared from seasonal factors, has shown the achievement of the next crisis records. The situation with employment has not deteriorated (as it was expected). On the other hand, reduction of staff was still in the plans. The growth of availability of credits has stopped.
Initial data on the dynamics of demand in December have not changed: the rate of the growth rate remained at the zero level. Therefore, in the industries in general, nearly within entire second half of the year the share of reported sales growth was equal to the reports on their shares decline. Anyway, in December, 2010, formal methods of clearing from seasonal factors have demonstrated an increase in demand growth. As a result, it has reached a crisis peak and the level of their pre-crisis indicators.
In December evident improvement of the demand dynamics has not affected the estimates of its volumes. Satisfaction of demand remained at the level of the preceding months (see Fig. 7). Therefore, it was not too bad, because within the II and III quarters the percentage of normal estimates of demand has been subjected to strong fluctuations, indicating the uncertainty of the businesses in which the volumes of sales could be considered adequate to current Section 4.
The Real Sector of the Economy economic conditions. At the end of the year the situation has become probably more understandable for the businesses.
Clear improvement of the dynamics of demand in December did not affect the estimates of its scope. Satisfaction of demand remained at the level of previous months (see Fig. 7). This, however, is not too bad, because in the II and III quarters the percentage of normal estimates of demand has been subject to strong fluctuations, indicating that the uncertainty of enterprises in which the sales take adequate current economic situation. At the end of the year the situation seems to be become more understandable for companies.
Despite the fact, that in the second half of the year the output growth, according to the initial responses of the businesses were demonstrating surprising stability, remaining since May in the range between +13...+ 20 points (while excluding October and November, there is a unique range between +18... +20), after cleaning from seasonal factors has revived such a monotonous Fig.. As a result, in December, the highest rates of output growth during the current crisis have been received.
Since the beginning of the latter quarter, the industry has fundamentally changed its pricing policy and switched to steady increase in sales prices. If in the III quarter the balance of price changes made 6 points, in the IV quarter of this index was released by an average of points. The leader in intensity of prices growth within the preceding three months of the year was not the food industry, but the light and chemical industries.
In December the price plans of the businesses have also significantly changed. The industries, like in the pre-crisis time, planned a significant increase in their prices within the first months of the new year (see Fig. 16), even, perhaps, to the detriment of sales. But it seems, that the increase in the tax burden did not leave any other choice to the businesses. Such a sharp revision of the price plans has not been observed in the Russian industries since September, 1998.
By the end of the year, despite the clear intention of the preceding moths to reduce staff, the industries have kept in general the number of employees at the same level – there was no significant recruitments or layoffs. In December, the level of pessimism in plans has deceased. If in November it has reached the year (2010) maximum of 5 points, (i.e., extensive dismissals were expected), in December balance of plans improved by 5 points, although it remained negative: the industries still expects to reduce staff. In the IV quarter of 2010 the estimates (not absolute indictors!) of salaries of workers and specialists have reached the precrisis level. 59 per cent of business leaders considered the level their employees’ wages normal, and 36 per cent considered it below normal (see Fig. 9). A similar ratio was observed in 2007 and in early 2008. At the peak of crisis the assessments were reverse: only 37 per cent of the managers recognized salaries as normal, 59 per cent.of leaders considered it "below normal".
By the end of 2010, the growth of credit availability has stopped. The share of normal assessments of this indicator in the second half of the year has stabilized at 66 per cent. Therefore, the banks have stopped mitigating the credit conditions of the real sector in view of continuing uncertainty. Stabilization of the interest rate, offered by the banks in general for industries at the level of 13 per cent for ruble credits, confirms this conclusion. Herewith, for small and medium-sized businesses the rate has been frozen at 15.0-15.5 per cent, for large businesses it has been maintained at the level of 11-12 per cent per annum.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks % 80 12/Normal Below normal 1/05 7/05 1/06 7/06 1/07 7/07 1/08 7/08 1/09 7/09 1/10 7/10 1/Fig. 7. Dynamics of the main estimates of effective demand % Expected Actual ---01/-1/05 7/05 1/06 7/06 1/07 7/07 1/08 7/08 1/09 7/09 1/10 7/10 1/Fig. 8. Change in employment (balance =% growth -% decrease) % Below normal Normal 1/07 7/07 1/08 7/08 1/09 7/09 1/10 7/10 1/Fig. 9. Evaluation of salaries of workers and specialists by enterprise managers Section 4.
The Real Sector of the Economy Enough % More than enough Not enough 1/93 1/95 1/97 1/99 1/01 1/03 1/05 1/07 1/Fig. 10. Share of businesses with excessive, adequate and insufficient facilities % HR shortage Shortage 40 of raw Shortage of equipment materials Shortage of power supply 1/93 1/95 1/97 1/99 1/01 1/03 1/05 1/07 1/09 1/Fig. 11. Resource barriers in output growth % 80%, 08/17%, 12/1/00 1/01 1/02 1/03 1/04 1/05 1/06 1/07 1/08 1/09 1/10 1/Fig. 12. The share of enterprises with normal access to credits RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks % Share of normal estimates 01/Balance -1/05 7/05 1/06 7/06 1/07 7/07 1/08 7/08 1/09 7/09 1/10 7/10 1/Fig. 13. Estimates of stocks of finished products balance (balance =% higher than normal -% below normal) 74%, 04/% 56%, 04/53%, 01/42%, 07/40%, 07/1/93 1/95 1/97 1/99 1/01 1/03 1/05 1/07 1/09 1/Fig. 14. Capacity utilization in industry,% % 10/30 Capacities 01/07/Personnel --1/93 1/95 1/97 1/99 1/01 1/03 1/05 1/07 1/09 1/Fig. 15. Balances of capacities and staff (Balance = "more than enough"- "less than enough") Section 4.
The Real Sector of the Economy Expected % Actual -12/-1/05 7/05 1/067/061/077/071/087/081/097/091/107/101/Fig. 16. Changes in selling prices (balance =% growth -% decrease) % Expected -Actual -11/-1/05 7/05 1/06 7/06 1/07 7/07 1/08 7/08 1/09 7/09 1/10 7/10 1/Fig. 17. Changes in production (balance =% growth -% decrease) Normal % 01/09 Above the norm Below normal 1/05 7/05 1/06 7/06 1/07 7/07 1/08 7/08 1/09 7/09 1/10 7/10 1/Fig. 18. Dynamics of assessments of finished goods stocks RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks % Satisfactory Bad Good Extremely bad 1/95 1/97 1/99 1/01 1/03 1/05 1/07 1/Fig. 19. Estimates of the economic situation of enterprises 251-500 persons 1-250 persons >1000 persons 501-1000 persons 09/09 11/09 01/10 03/10 05/10 07/10 09/10 11/10 01/Fig. 20. The dynamics of the average minimum rate for ruble credits to businesses of different sizes, % per annum % Actual Expected -1/97 1/99 1/01 1/03 1/05 1/07 1/09 1/Fig. 21. Changes in the unit costs (balance =% of growth -% decrease) Section 4.
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