A comparison between the dynamics of exports in terms of amounts and volumes, as well as the rates of domestic output, demonstrates that at the background of increasing influence of business situation on world markets there is observed a gradual decline in the rates of growth in export oriented industries. In January through April of 2005, the growth in extraction of fuel and energy mineral resources oil extraction made 102.8 per cent in comparison with 109.8 per cent registered in the respective period of 2004, while the extraction of metal ores made 101.9 per cent as compared with 110.per cent. The unexpectedly low contribution of extracting industries in the dynamics of economic growth observed in the 1st quarter of 2005 may be expected by the fact that the possibilities of extraction of exports are limited by both production capacities and the capacities of transport communications. It should be noted that the decline in the rates of growth in hydrocarbons occurred at the background of intensive growth in the average actual export and domestic prices of the products of raw materials industries. Since the beginning of 2005, the increase in producer prices of extracted mineral resources made 12.5 per cent, including the growth in prices of fuel and energy resources by 13.3 per cent and a 12.0 per cent growth in prices of production and transfer of power. Simultaneously with the growth in domestic prices of the output of raw material industries there is registered an accelerating growth in prices of products of manufacturing industries.
Due to the exceptionally favorable business situation observed on the world markets of hydrocarbons and metals, in the 1st quarter of 2005 the amount of Russian export of commodities made US $ 52.6 billion growing from US $ 17.6 billion registered in the 1st quarter of 2004 and being a factor increasing the internal revenues of the economy. The balanced financial results across the base types of economic activities of large and medium sized organizations in the 1st quarter of 2005 grew by 28.per cent in comparison with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year, including the growth by 58.1 per cent observed in extraction of mineral resources and 46.7 per cent in manufacturing industries. As a result of growth of revenues from external economic activities and persisting activity on the domestic market, in the first four months of 2005 the amount of accumulated resources of the RF Stabilization Fund grew by 64.3 per cent and made Rub. 858 billion. However, in 2005, given the extremely low level of transformation of savings into investments and the innovation development, there increased the impact of the intensive growth in imports on the domestic market.
In the 1st quarter of 2005, import of commodities reached US $ 24.5 billion, what was by 24.8 per cent above the level registered in 2004. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the scale of supply of domestically produced commodities was not adequate to the expansion of domestic demand due to the limitations of production, technological, and innovation nature. The increase in the amount of import of consumer and investment goods was accompanied by the changes in the competitive environment and gradual squeezing of Russian producers from markets occurring at the background of relative decline in the prices of imported commodities due to the changes in the Ruble exchange rate.
While on the market of food products Russian producer have retained rather stable positions, what was reflected in the acceleration of the rates of growth in output by 4 p. p. in comparison with the figures registered in January through April of 2004, the permanent crisis of the textile, clothing, leather, and footwear production provoked the expansion of the niches for imported goods.
At the given scale of gross national saving, the low level of transformation of the export generated revenues of the economy in investment aimed at the expansion and modernization of domestic production is a factor behind the instable dynamics of functioning of the Russian economy.
O. I. Izryadnova IET Business Survey: Industry in May of The figures registered in May of 2005 indicated the expected results: a decline in demand in absolute terms has brought about an adequate deceleration of the rates of growth observed across the majority of enterprises. As a result, the industry could not only avoid overstocking of warehouses, but also diminish the redundant finished stocks. Enterprises traditionally reported that the most frequently encountered obstacles to the growth in the output of enterprises were internal demand and insufficient working capital. In the 3rd quarter of 2005, the third most important factor was the competitive imports.
According to the estimates presented by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT), after a halt of growth in industrial output observed in the first two months of the year (0.per cent in January and 0 per cent in February), it resumed in March (0.1 per cent) and especially in April (0.5 per cent), primarily under the impact of the enhancing investment activity in combination with the increasing rates of growth in consumer demand. These positive impulses from consumer demand could not be totally leveled by a growth in imports, in spite of a significant real appreciation of the Ruble. The recovery in industry occurred due to the acceleration of the rates of growth not in extraction of mineral resources, but manufacturing industries (in April, there was registered an increase by 0.7 per cent); however, this growth was rather of a compensating nature with respect to the decline observed in February and March. On the whole, in January through April the growth in industrial output (in the structure of the All-Russian Classifier of External Economic Activities (OKVED classifier) made 4.2 per cent in comparison with the figures registered in the respective period of 2004. Over this period, output of manufacturing industries increased by 5.7 per cent, extraction of mineral resources grew by 2.2 per cent, and production and distribution of electrical power grew rose by 2.3 per cent.
However, the estimates of changes in demand and output provided by the monitored enterprises in the first months of 2005 presented a somewhat different picture of industrial dynamics. February and March demonstrated rather high rates of growth both in demand and output. The deceleration of output indicated by official statistics since the beginning of the year began to be felt by enterprises only in April and May.
The chance that the results of the May survey will be supported by the data presented in the official statistics is rather high. As it should be expected, the raw (i.e. not adjusted for the seasonal factors) data demonstrated an absolute decline in demand for industrial products. The respective balance declined by 23 p. p. to -8 per cent. No such intensive decrease in sales in May has been registered since 2002. Only in the industry of construction materials the growth in demand continued to increase.
Across other industries the amounts of sales either declined, or remained at the levels registered earlier. The adjustment for the seasonal factors resulted only in lower rates of decline observed with respect to demand in the industry at large (these rates made -3 per cent). As a result, the satisfaction with demand decreased by 8 p. p. A decline in this indicator was observed across all industries with the exception of fuel industry, metallurgy, and petrochemistry.
The dynamics of output rather adequately reacted to the decline in demand. The balance of changes in output followed demand and diminished to -5 per cent (as concerns the data not adjusted for the seasonal factor). After the adjustment for the seasonal factor, the growth in output was still observed;
however the intensity of growth in the industry at large turned out to be low. According to estimates, the majority of enterprises (63 per cent) preferred to “not outpace” demand and adjusted their output.
In May, the share of enterprises where output changed at rates outpacing sales made only 20 per cent, what was one of the best results registered over the last 24 months. In February this indicator was observed to be at 27 per cent and in March – at 30 per cent.
The utilization of production capacities across industries has stabilized at the level of 65 per cent for the second quarter running, what was by 2 p. p. below the results registered in the second six months of 2004. The major factor behind these developments was the decline in the respective indicators observed in mechanical engineering (by 3 p. p.) and food industry (by 5 p. p.). In spite of the pressure of imports and low internal demand, light industry could increase the utilization of production capacities to 68 per cent, what was the record value of the indicator registered over the last ten years.
Evaluations of finished stocks supported the adequacy of enterprises’ behavior. Producers could avoid overstocking of warehouses. Moreover, the increasing share of reports “below norm” indicates that enterprises have even played too safe. A not very significant decline in demand observed in May, high confidence of forecasts for a few next months, and declining confidence of the production plans resulted in the fact that the balance of evaluations of finished stocks decreased by 4 p. p. However, it should be noted that similar developments have been registered by May surveys for the third year running.
Evaluations of the stocks of raw materials and resources demonstrate that since the beginning of 2003 more than 50 per cent of enterprises assess their stocks as normal, while since the 4th quarter of 2004 the value of this indicator has not been registered at a level below 60 per cent. As a result, the shortage of raw materials has more frequently hindered the growth in production in the industry: at the moment only 11 per cent of enterprises mention this obstacle. The peak of reports mentioning the lack of raw materials and resources (35 per cent) was registered in the first few months after the default.
In the 2nd quarter of 2005, the most frequently mentioned by enterprises obstacle to the growth in output was low internal demand. At the moment, this, generally speaking, banal factor hinders 53 per cent of enterprises, while in the 4th quarter of 2004 it was mentioned in only 38 per cent of reports (the minimum value registered during the whole time of monitoring). In 2005, the second most frequently mentioned factor still remains the lack of working capital; however, the number of respective reports is at its minimum (40 per cent). The third most significant obstacle is competing imports. At present, this is an obstacle to 27 per cent of enterprises, what is the absolute maximum as concerns this factor.
In July of 1998, competitive imports were at the 6th place (12 per cent) in the rating of obstacles registered across all industries. As concerns light industry, in the 2nd quarter of 2005, 51 per cent of enterprises mentioned competitive imports as a factor hindering the growth in output. More frequently than imports, the enterprises of this industry mention only low internal demand (59 per cent), while other factors are reported much less frequently (at or below 34 per cent to 32 per cent). It should be noted that in the middle of 1999 only 4 per cent of the enterprises in this industry reported about competitive imports as a factor hindering them to increase output.
Over the last few months, the forecasts of changes in demand have remained practically the same and retain high levels of confidence. However, the latter circumstance failed to affect the plans of output, which, although declining by 10 p. p. over the month, demonstrated an increase in “demand security”. The level of concurrence in the forecasts of demand and plans of output has made 76 per cent, what is a record for the last 30 months.
S. V. Tsukhlo Foreign Trade The favorable situation on the international market, the rouble’s strengthening and the increased domestic effective demand, as before, have been contributing to the growth of Russia’ foreign trade turnover. The main indices of the foreign trade’s development in the first quarter of 2005 are record high of the last 15 years.
The new procedure for the payment of the value added tax, based on the “country of destination” principle, that was introduced from 1 January 2005, resulted in a considerable decline in the trade between Russia and Belarus. As a consequence, Belarus’s share in Russia’s external trade turnover went down from 6.6% in the first quarter of 2004 to 4.6% in the first quarter of 2005, and the country’s place on the list of Russia’s partners in trade shifted from the second to the sixth.
In the first quarter of 2005, Russia’s foreign trade was developing under the conditions when the external economic situation was still favorable (the index of export prices in this year’s first quarter, as compared to the first quarter of the previous year, amounted to 1.354, and that of import prices – to 1.076); when the domestic investment climate was improving (this country’s rating for the first time was raised to the investment level in accordance with the classification of international rating agencies); when net capital outflow from the private sector had gone down to a minimum level; and when the national currency, in real effective terms, had become moderately strong.
Russia’s foreign trade turnover in March 2005 was 30.0 billion USD, which is higher than the foreign trade turnover in March 2004 by 38.9%. At the same time, export from the RF amounted to 20.billion USD (growth by 45.5%), import – to 9.7 billion USD (growth by 26.8%). The balance of trade in March 2005 was positive – 10.6 billion USD, having been in March 2003 also positive – 6.4 billion USD.
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