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N. Volovik N. Leonova Forecasting certain macroeconomic indicators Forecasting tax revenues. The actual data on tax revenues in March of 2003 permits to evaluate the accuracy of forecasts published in the preceding issues and adjust the applied forecast models. The addition of the new point to the time series of tax revenues does not change the trend of the time series of aggregate tax revenues, VAT, and the income tax revenues received by the consolidated budget and the aggregate tax revenues of the federal budget. For the time series profit tax revenues of the federal budget the addition of the new point results in the growing trend towards an increase in tax revenues.

For the comparison between the predicted values and actual data in accordance with the ARIMA and REM models, see Table 1.

Table 1.

Comparison of predicted values and actual data obtained in March of Consolidated budget of RF Federal budget of RF Total tax Profit tax VAT revenues Income tax Total tax Profit tax revenues revenues revenues revenues revenues Actual data (Rub.

276.6 54.2 67.6 33.0 171.8 19.billion) ARIMA (forecast in % of the actual 90.65% 36.25% 115.01% 106.87% 80.51% 63.51% data) REM (forecast in % of the actual 104.91% 198.66% 113.65% 95.93% 120.73% 191.96% data) The most accurate forecasts for March of 2003 were obtained for the income tax revenues (the mean relative error for both types of models - the divergence between the predicted and actual values is below %) and the aggregate tax revenues of the consolidated budget (the respective value is below 7 %). The obtained predictions of the VAT revenues turn out to be above the actual data both for the ARIMA model and the REM model, what may be explained by the significant dispersion of the actual data pertaining to this indicator in 2003. For instance, in March of 2003 the real growth in the VAT revenues in comparison with the figures registered in the respective month of 2002 made 10 %, while in the first two months of 2003 the respective value is estimated to be only at 2 %. The mean relative error of the estimated forecasts of the aggregate revenues of the federal budget does not exceed 20 % for both types of models. The least accurate forecasts of the revenues were obtained for the profit tax revenues of the federal and consolidated budgets, what, as in the case of the value added tax, is caused by the lack of a relatively stable structure of the seasonal component in the time series of these indicators.

According to the forecasts made basing on the REM and ARIMA models (see Table 2), the average increase in the income tax revenues in May through July of 2003 in comparison with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year makes about 0.3 p. p. of GDP. As concerns the value added tax, over the analyzed period on the average the respective revenues grew by 0.4 p. p. of GDP according to the REM model and by 0.2 p. p. of GDP according to the ARIMA model. Our calculations indicate that the trend towards growth in VAT revenues persists this year in spite of the relative decline in the revenues registered in March of 2003 as compared with the figures observed in the respective period of 2002. The predicted average decline in the profit tax revenues of the consolidated budget in May through July of 2003 in comparison with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year will make about 0.8 p.

p. of GDP in accordance with the REM model and 0.3 p. p. of GDP in accordance with the ARIMA model.

To the contrary, the revenues of the federal budget generated by the profit tax will on the average increase by 1 and 1.8 p. p. of GDP according to the REM and the ARIMA models respectively. At the same time, on the whole, proceeding from the obtained forecasts of the REM model, the amount of aggregate revenues of the consolidated budget shall increase by 1.3 p. p. of GDP on the average and will not change in comparison with the figures registered in the preceding year according to the ARIMA model.

The constantly changing seasonal component of the time series indicates unstable dynamics of both aggregate tax revenues and the profit tax revenues. Therefore, it seems that more accurate forecasts of these indicators may be made basing on the REM model.

Table Forecast of tax revenues in January through May, January through June, and January through July of 2003 (in % of GDP) Consolidated budget of RF Federal budget of RF Total tax Profit tax VAT Income tax Total tax Profit tax revenues revenues revenues revenues revenues revenues Actual values of tax revenues January May of 2002 26.4% 5.1% 7.0% 3.1% 15.9% 1.9% January June of 2002 25.9% 4.7% 6.9% 3.1% 15.7% 1.7% January July of 2002 26.2% 4.7% 7.0% 3.2% 15.8% 1.7% January December of 25.5% 6.9% 3.3% 15.5% 1.6% 4.2% REM model forecast January May of 2003 27.8% 4.7% 7.3% 3.3% 16.9% 1.8% January June of 2003 27.2% 4.4% 7.3% 3.4% 16.7% 1.7% January July of 2003 27.6% 4.4% 7.4% 3.5% 16.9% 1.7% ARIMA model forecast January May of 2003 26.1% 4.1% 7.2% 3.4% 17.5% 1.5% January June of 2003 26.2% 4.0% 7.1% 3.4% 17.7% 1.5% January July of 2003 26.0% 4.0% 7.1% 3.5% 17.7% 1.6% Table Forecast of living standards in May, June, and July of Average gross monthly pension in real Real wages and salaries Real disposable cash terms (1994.01=100) (1993.01=100) incomes (1992.12=100) Actual data 97.06 84.02 92.May 96.77 92.00 97.June 96.28 96.14 99.July ARIMA model based forecast 107.83 98.49 101.May 100.47 104.June 2003 110.111.94 103.91 105.July ARIMA model based forecast in per cent of the actual data obtained in the respective period of 111.09% 117.23% 110.23% May 113.84% 109.20% 106.72% June 116.26% 108.08% 106.00% July Forecast of living standards. According to the ARIMA model based estimates (see Table 3), the average increment in the average gross monthly pension will make about 14 % in May through July of 2003 as compared with the figures registered in the respective period of 2002. The average growth in real disposable cash incomes is estimated to make about 8 %. The respective indicator of the increment in real wages and salaries will be below 8 %.

Table 4.

Forecast of the retail trade turnover and GDP in May, June, and July of Amount of retail trade turnover Amount of GDP Actual values (Rub. billion) 288.5 849.May 295.2 870.June 307.4 953.July ARIMA model based forecast 340.16 1008.May 344.46 1041.June 356.62 1129.July ARIMA model based forecast in per cent of the actual data obtained in the respective period of 117.91% 118.75% May 116.69% 119.71% June 116.01% 118.47% July Forecast of the monthly amounts of retail trade turnover and GDP. According to the obtained results (see Table 4), the estimated monthly average real increment in the amounts of the retail trade turnover will not exceed 3 % in May through July of 2003 as compared with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year. The respective value for GDP will make about 5 %.

A. Yudin Principles of the analysis of social and economic outcomes of transition to the contract based army* A specific feature of post-industrial societies is the transition from a conscript to contract based army. It is a normal process related to the transformation of the demographic and social structure of society. The first conscript army in Europe originated in Sweden, later - to mention only large countries in France. The transition to the conscript army occurs in agrarian societies. For a young man who grew at a farm the conscription is the only way to a town, opportunity of socialization, elementary education, a career. For a long time, this has been the case in the Soviet Union, while in China even today conscription of a young man from a rural area is seen as a social success. Conscription Quite different situation arises in the countries being at the stage of post-industrial development. These countries where populations are urbanized and do not need the army as an instrument of social adaptation.

The conscript system starts to contradict the social institutions and behavioral standards. The society is actively searching for legitimate ways to protect children from mandatory conscription. Measures aimed to prevent these attempts give rise to social conflicts and massive corruption. When the state attempts to adopt laws limiting privileges relating to conscription, it only increases payment for draft evasion.

In the 21st century Russia, the reform of the recruitment system of its Armed Forces, the transition to the contract based army reflects the realities of the present stage of development, at which the country is today.

Any attempts to preserve the recruitment system as it is in the present situation may only aggravate both military and social problems in the army and in the society. Therefore, in order to thoroughly evaluate the variants of transition to the contract based army it would be feasible to present a brief description of the variants proposed by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the RF (GS AF RF) and IET, while singling out the specifics of transition as set forth by different variants and analyzing social and economic outcomes of implementation of respective variants of the reform.

The concept of the GS AF RF. The principal difference between the concepts under comparison is that the GS AF RF sets the priority to the task to make more combat capable only the part of the RF Armed Forces, which it considers the most important. This part includes troops of constant combat readiness belonging to the ground forces, airborne assault troops, and marine corps, where serve about of the total number of enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers of the RF Armed Forces.

The concept elaborated by the GS AF RF recommends to start the reform of the RF Armed Forces after the completion of the full complex of preliminary measures relating to replenishment of materials and equipment, maintenance, use, and repairs of armaments and military equipment, capital construction, capital and current repairs of infrastructure objects and depot zones of military bases, garages, and storage facilities, settlement of current problems of combat and special training.

In accordance with these priorities, the expenditures for contract based recruitment of the personnel of the selected units of constant combat readiness shall include not only bonuses to the respective money allowance and funds necessary for conversion of barracks into hostels and construction of residential housing for contracted servicemen having families, but also funds for preliminary measures.

One hundred twenty billion Rubles will be expended to create in the RF Armed Forces a situation where of the total number of soldiers, seamen, sergeants, and petty officers serving in formations and units included in the category of constant combat readiness are serving under contract and on more favorable terms. At the same time, about of the total number of servicemen (those presently servicing under contracts, the larger part of them in other arms and troops, including those on combat alert) will have to serve on present terms of service and payment, while of the Armed Forces will be made of conscripts, a half of whom (in other words of the total strength) will be drafted to training military units and training units of usual troops, while the rest (after the primary training) in other military units, which the Defense Minister called regular forces. The military leadership will have to extend the difference in the standards of social security of enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers of the RF Armed Forces serving in different units to the officer corps as well.

As a result, the tension in the society caused by the mandatory conscription and present service conditions will be preserved, moreover, there will arise new tensions among the servicemen caused by significant differences in pay for their service and housing standards.

IET concept. In contradistinction to the concept promoted by the GS AF RF, IET experts propose to consider social and economic problems alongside with the military issues as priorities of the reform. It is proposed to make contracts with all servicemen of regular forces so the strength of soldiers, seamen, sergeants, and petty officers made 400 thousand, what would make 3/4 of the present total military personnel.

The rest (approximately of the total strength, what corresponds to the present number of conscripts at their first half year of service) shall be drafted, but only for 6 months and only for the elementary military training, after completion of which conscripts would be made a responsible offer to serve further under a contract. Only those who, first, volunteer to serve, and, second, are recognized as professionally fit and respectively qualified in accordance with the results of the training shall serve in the regular forces. The rest shall be demobilized and transferred in the military trained mobilization resource (reserve) after the completion of the training.

The terms of contract service shall be attractive in order to select those merited on the basis of competition.

In the case the expenditures will be reduced to money allowance, which shall be by 10 to 20 per cent above the average national pay and to the costs of conversion of barracks into hostels and payment of funds for rent of housing for servicemen having children, the aggregate expenditures for the transition to the new system of recruitment will approximately make Rub. 91 billion till year 2007.

The expenditures for money allowances of all contracted servicemen (about 155 thousand previously recruited servicemen and the new recruits, what the IET experts considered to be of principal importance) were estimated proceeding from the extra pay increasing the level of money allowances up to the value by per cent exceeding the average national pay. The average monthly pay was assumed to correspond to the estimates of the RF Ministry of Economic Development.

The expenditures defined as the extra pay to commanders were calculated proceeding from the necessity to introduce such an extra pay in order to eliminate the imbalance in the pay of officers and contracted soldiers. The calculations proceed from the assumption that these expenditures shall relate only to the officers commanding soldiers serving under contracts. This extra pay shall provide incentives for the service of exactly such officers and eliminate the permanent shortage of such officers in the Armed Forces.

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