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UK Italy USA France Cyprus The Germany Switzerland Netherlands Other countries 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 1/1\1\1\respective period of the preceding year. In comparison with January through March of 2001, the industrial output increased by 3.0 %, agriculture by 4.6 %, construction by 2.9 %, freight turnover by 2.1 %.

In contradistinction to 2001, this year the structure of GDP utilization was significantly affected by outpacing rates of growth in consumer demand in comparison with investment demand. In January through May, the turnover of retail trade increased by 9.2 %, while investment in fixed assets grew by 1.7 %. The consumer demand was expanding at the background of low inflation rates. The consumer price index made 108.4 % in comparison with the figures registered in December of 2001, as compared with 110.9 % in the respective period of the preceding year. Over five months, the rate of increase in prices across all types of services (118.4 %) is higher than the consumer price index. Since the gap in the dynamics of prices of goods and services still exists, taking into account the 20 % increase in tariffs on natural gas planned for June, it may be expected that this trend will persist.

This May, inflation rates in the sector of non-food goods remained in the interval of the averages registered in the 4th quarter of 2001 and in January through April of 2002. A certain acceleration of rates of growth in prices of non-food goods was caused by an increase in gasoline prices and the seasonal increase in prices of construction materials. At the same time, there was registered the minimal rise in prices of paid services in 2000 through 2001. The factor behind this development was the deceleration of rates of growth in prices of services of the housing and public utilities down to 1 %. Tariffs on other regulated services also grew more slowly than the average level: communications and public conveyance went up by only 0.6 %.

In January through May of 2002, the increase in real disposable incomes made 8.7 %, while real wages and salaries grew by 18.5 %. The outpacing growth of wages, salaries, and other fixed payments, which form household incomes for less well-to-do strata and groups of the populace, as compared with the dynamics of real incomes, facilitates a decrease in the social and economic differentiation of the society. At the same time, the influence of factors providing for the outpacing dynamics of retail trade turnover in comparison with real disposable cash household incomes gradually wears out and the respective rates of growth of these two indicators become more even. This May, retail trade turnover decreased by 2.2 %, while the real disposable household incomes fell by 15.1 %.

In January through May of 2002, the persistence of positive dynamics of industrial output was supported by increase in output across practically all industries. The accumulated potential of growth in the export oriented sector of the economy compensated for the slowdown in the rates of growth of final demand goods.

The increase in production of the export oriented sector in January through May made 6.6 %, including 5.% in fuel industry and 9.1 % in non-ferrous metallurgy. The situation on the domestic market is formed at the background of outpacing rates of growth in production of intermediate goods in comparison with final demand goods. While industrial output increased by 3.0 % in comparison with the figures registered in January through May of 2001, the growth in output of the investment complex made 1.0 %, and the industries of the consumer complex showed a 5.6 % increase.

The current shift from external factors of economic growth to internal ones causes many problems, since the capacity to maintain sustainable growth in the framework of the existing structure of production is close to exhaustion. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the trend to a deceleration of rates of growth of production in mechanical engineering, light, and food industry occurs at the background of gradual Ruble appreciation, what generates an expansion in the share of imports in the formation of resources of the investment and consumer markets. As compared with the 1st quarter of 2001, the share of imports in the formation of commodity resources of trade with non-food goods increased by 8 p. p. The share of investment in purchase of imported equipment made 22.7 % of the total amount of investment in the active part of fixed assets at the background of outpacing rates of growth in imports in comparison with domestic production.

In April through May of 2002, after a prolonged period, when the trend towards lower inflation rates dominated, there was registered a hike in producers prices. It shall be stressed that this development was a natural result of the increase in tariffs and prices of natural monopolies. The rise in producers prices made 2.2 % in April and 2.5 % in May. The relative change in price proportions was also caused by a significant rise in prices of products of fuel industry (by 8.0 % this May). The increase in prices of fuel products was both aimed to equalize domestic and external prices in relation to the changes in the external business situation, and related to the growing demand for gasoline on the domestic market. Besides, in May there become noticeable the delayed effect of the increase in prices on the wholesale electric energy market by % on costs. The fuel and energy intensive industries reacted to this development most sharply. The prices in non-ferrous metallurgy increased by 19.0 % since the beginning of the year (as compared with a 3.9 % decrease in prices observed in the respective period of 2001).

As a result, in January through April the balanced financial result of large and medium sized organizations across all sectors of the economy decreased by 42.9 % (in industry by 50.3 %) in comparison with the level registered in the respective period of the preceding year. The factors behind the decreasing profitability of industry were the diminishing profitability of export operations, growing production costs caused by outpacing rates of growth in costs of fuels, electric power, and wages. The practice reveals that inflation surges related to consumer goods inevitably result in increases in producers prices, while in the present situation this development coincides with the preceding inflation wave generated by the dynamics of prices and tariffs of natural monopolies, what may result in a further transformation of price proportions. In this situation, the level of business activity will depend on the higher rates of utilization of competitive capacities and efficient management of stocks. However, evaluating the short term perspectives of development, it is necessary to take in account the fact that in May there was registered an increase in demand for investment in fixed assets by 16.5 %, while the output of mechanical engineering grew by 15 % (in comparison with respective figures registered in April). In the industrial sector, the normalization of the structure of payments continued, the share of money in the payments for goods grew, and the amount of outstanding debts of enterprises and organizations decreased. Therefore, it may be concluded that the accumulated potential allows to rather flexibly deal with short term development problems. However, the estimate for the whole year shall take into account the fact that deteriorating financial standing of enterprises in the situation of increasing inflation will result in contraction of business and investment activity.

FIGURE CHANGES IN PRICES OF PRODUCERS AND PRODUCTS OF NATURAL MONOPOLIES IN THROUGH 2002, INDUSTRY = 1 % 2,1,0,Industry, total Power engineering Natural gas Freight O. Izryadnova Oil and Natural Gas Sector In the first half-year of 2002, the development of oil and natural gas sector was characterized by the persistence of the trend towards increasing production of oil and oil products formed in 2000 through 2001.

In January through March, the total volume of oil output increased by 8.4 % in comparison with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year, while the output of primary processed oil increased by 1.1 %. For the first time in the last years, there was registered an increase in extraction of natural gas (see 2001/2001/2001/2001/2001/2001/2001/2001/2001/2002/2002/2002/2002/2002/2000/2001/2001/2001/Table 1). At the same time, due to a certain surplus of oil output and decreasing world oil prices (in the 4th quarter of 2001 and in January through March of 2002, the average world price of Russian oil was at US $ 18 to 19 per barrel), there was observed a significant dip in investment activity: in January through April of 2002, the volume of production drilling fell by 15.9 % as compared with the respective period of the preceding year, while surveying drilling decreased by 35.3 %. The commissioning of new oil wells was down by 2.1 %. The specific weight of idle wells in the total number of oil wells fell somewhat and made 22.2 % (it was 22.6 % as on May 1, 2001). The degree of processing of oil in the oil processing industry decreased from 69.9 % in January through April of 2001 to 68.5 % in the respective period of this year. The share of high octane gasoline in the total amount of motor gasoline increased from 42.8 % in January through April of 2001 to 45.8 % this year.

Table Oil, oil products, and natural gas output, in % of the respective period of the preceding year 1999 2000 2001 January March Oil 100,3 105,9 107,7 108,Gas condensate 104,7 103,8 106,7 111,Primary oil processing 102,9 102,7 103,2 101,Motor gasoline 102,2 103,6 100,6 98,Diesel fuel 104,2 104,9 102,0 102,Furnace fuel oil 94,8 98,3 104,2 104,Natural gas, cub. m. billion 99,7 98,5 99,2 102,Oil gas, cub. m. billion 103,2 102,5 105,0 104,Source: RF Goskomstat.

A rapid growth of oil extraction in the situation of limited domestic demand resulted in a certain surplus output of oil in the country. As a result, in 2001 and early 2002 there was observed a significant decrease in domestic prices of oil and oil products, both in real and nominal terms. Domestic oil prices in dollar terms decreased from US $ 56 to 58 per metric ton in early 2001 to US $ 39.4 per metric ton this March. Gasoline price, which reached the peak (US $ 200 per metric ton) in the 4th quarter of 2000, demonstrated a clear downward trend over the whole last year and made only US $ 109.9 per metric ton in April. As a result, the domestic gasoline price was almost 35 % below the pre-devaluation level. However, in the last months, the dynamics of domestic prices of oil and oil products changed under the influence of increasing production costs and growing world prices. Since April, there has been registered an increase in domestic oil prices (both in Ruble and US $ terms), since May, there was observed also a growth in the price of motor gasoline.

In the last few months, prices of natural gas were practically at the pre-devaluation level (see Table 2).

Table Domestic oil, oil products, and natural gas prices (in US $) in 1999 through 2002 (average wholesale prices of enterprises, US $ / metric ton) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2002 2002 2002 Dec. Dec. Dec. Jan.

Feb. March April May Oil 37,0 54,9 49,9 47,4 40,2 39,4 40,7 42,Motor gasoline 171,9 199,3 151,5 139,2 122,7 113,2 109,9 133,Diesel fuel 125,0 185,0 158,5 135,1 123,3 119,3 126,9 154,Furnace fuel oil 46,1 79,7 47,1 39,3 33,3 33,8 37,1 60,Gas, US $ / thos. c. 2,2 3,1 4,8 5,7 6,5 6,3 6,5 6,m.

Source: calculated on the basis of RF Goskomstat data.

In the 1st quarter of 2002, the oil exports were limited due to Russias obligations to decrease oil supplies on the world market in order to support the OPEC measures aimed at the restoration of a world oil price level acceptable for oil producing countries. At the same time, oil exports increased by 16.0 % and export of oil products grew by 10.7 % in comparison with the figures registered in the 1st quarter of 2001 (see Table 3 and Fig. 1). In the 1st quarter, the share of exports in commodity resources of diesel fuel made 53.9 %, furnace fuel oil 36.9 %, motor gasoline 10.9 %. However, the growth of exports in physical terms could not compensate for the decline in world oil prices. In the 1st quarter of 2002, the aggregate value of export of oil and base oil products made US $ 6.91 billion, what was by 13.5 % below the level registered in the 1st quarter of the preceding year. At the same time, there was registered a decline in natural gas exports to CIS countries. The import of oil products also significantly contracted. For instance, in the 1st quarter of 2002, imports of motor gasoline made only 18.9 % of the level registered in the respective period of the preceding year, while the specific weight of imports in the gasoline resources fell from 0.6 % in the 1st quarter of to 0.1 % this year.

Table Export of oil, oil products, and natural gas from Russia, in % of the respective period of the preceding year 2000 2001 January - March January - March January - March Oil, total 103,3 106,5 116,including:

Export to non-CIS countries 110,5 104,9 106,Export to CIS countries 66,9 120,0 186,Oil products, total 87,4 102,9 110,Including:

Export to non-CIS countries 87,3 103,7 112,Export to CIS countries 88,5 89,6 80,Natural gas, total 110,6 83,2 97,Source: RF Goskomstat.

Since January 1, 2002, OPEC member countries and some countries outside this organization have started to limit oil extraction and exports, what resulted in a growth in world oil prices in the 1st quarter of 2002. In March, world oil prices were at US $ 22 to 24 per barrel, and in the 2nd quarter stabilized at US $ 24 to 25 per barrel. (see Table 4).

Table World oil prices in 1999 through 2002, US $ per barrel 1999-2002 ., ./.

1999 2000 2001 2001 2002 2002 2002 4 quart Jan. Feb. March April Brent, UK 17,97 28,50 24,44 19,42 19,48 20,22 23,73 25,Urals, Russia 17,30 26,63 22,97 18,78 18,36 18,87 22,07 23,OPEC oil basket 17,47 27,60 23,12 18,33 18,39 18,96 22,60 24,Source: OECD International Energy Agency.

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