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% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 2006 2007 maturity between 90 days and 1 year maturity more than 1 year Vneshekonombanks rate of return Source: RF CB, Vneshekonombank Note. The data on the rates of return achieved by Vneshekonombank as of the dates of reporting are shown for periods from each years beginning, in per annum values.

Fig. 5. Average weighted interest rates on the GKO OFZ market and the GAMs rate of return in 2006Source: MICE.

Fig. 6. MICE -10 Index in 2007 2008.

29.12.29.01.28.02.29.03.29.04.29.05.29.06.29.07.29.08.29.09.29.10.29.11.29.12.29.01.29.02.29.03.29.04.29.05.29.06.The rate of return achieved by PAMs were influenced by the negative trends on the securities market. As seen from Fig. 6, MICE-10 index12 during that period was below the average level observed in 2006 - 2007, while its decline in Q II 2008 was 14.7 % (or 57.8 % in annual terms). At the same time, the percentage of shares in the aggregate investment portfolio of PAMs did not exceed one-third (30.% as of the beginning of the year, and 26.3 % as of the end of Q I). With regard to passive investments, it can be expected that the losses in that part of the portfolio were limited to 4.1 % (or 16.5 % in annual terms). As an index of the rate of return for the remaining part of the portfolio the rate of return achieved by the GAM can be applied, then the total losses of the assets invested by PAMs would have amounted to approximately 13 % over the year. The actual results turned out to be somewhat worse. On the average, losses per annum amounted to 18.65 %, and if the results of separate asset managers are weighted by the value of net assets being manages as of the end of year - to 20.%. The 12-month index was also found to be negative - 2.9 %, although the average weighted rate of return achieved by PAM in 3 years amounted to 13 %.

Factors of GDP Economic Growth and Volume of Industrial Production in First Half of E. Astafieva The methods of growth decomposition by the main factors are widely used in the world practice when analyzing the prospects for the economy growth. Special attention is paid to the investigation of the remainder not explained by the main factors (labor and capital)- total factor efficiency (TFE)13.

According to the preliminary estimation, in the first half of 2008 the increase in the TFE growth rates was characteristic only for the enterprises of electricity, gas and water production and distribution; in the processing sector the efficiency has also increased, but growth rates were below those in the first half of 2007; and in the extractive industries TFE decreased.

According to the preliminary estimation in the first half of 2008 the increase in GDP real volume will be equal to 8.0% 14 on the corresponding period of the previous year, against 7.8% in JanuaryJune 2007. Output growth acceleration was accompanied by the increase in main factors of production reserves: labor and capital. As compared with the previous year, in January-June 2008 the increase in the number of the employed was equal to 0.4%, reaching the level of 7.8 million of people in June 2008. Increase in the investments in the fixed assets, whose growth in the first half of 2008 was equal to 16.9% (against 23.7% in January-June 2007) resulted in the extension of the fixed assets volume15.

Table GDP Growth Rates Decomposition in First Half of 2007 and First half of 2007 First half of Growth Rates As percentage Growth rates As percentage GDP 7.8 100 8.0 I. Factors input 2.2 28.65 4.1 51. I.1 Labor 0.7 8.60 0.5 5. Employment 0.5 6.93 0.2 2. Hours worked 0.1 1.67 0.3 3. I.2 Capital 1.6 20.04 3.7 45. Fixed assets 1.3 17.20 1.6 19. Extent of facilities load 0.2 2.84 2.1 25. II. TFE 5.6 71.35 3.9 48. MICE-10 index, due to its composition, is superior to RTS index in its ability to reflect the changes in prices of those shares in which pension savings can be invested. Besides, in contrast to the latter, it is estimated on the basis of ruble-denominated prices.

Economic growth factors, Scientific work series, No 70, IET, Moscow, 2003, 390p., www.iet.ru Data of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade Estimation of fixed assets growth is based on the supposition that coefficient of fixed assets retirement is constant as is the share of invested directed for their renovation According to the breakdown made (Table 1) GDP growth rates in the first half of 2008 were accounted for by changes in labor inputs on average by 5.8%, by changes in the capital involved in production by 45.8%. The main factor determining output growth in that period is TFE, changes of which account for 48.4% of output growth rates.

Favorable situation at the labor market, that is the increase in the demand for the qualified staff, connected with the steady economic growth and enlivening in the real economy sector, defined the positive labor input in the GDP growth rates, accounted by the changes in the volume of labor input, though the absolute value of this component contribution has decreased as compared with the previous year. Such a situation was mainly accounted for the reduction of the number of the employed population growth rates, which in the first half of 2008 was half of that of 2007, and the rise in the growth rates of the real duration of the working week in January-June 2008 did not compensate the decrease in the labor reserves growth rates.

In contrast, the share of the GDP growth rates, accounted for the changes in the capital input, has grown up considerably in the first half of 2008. The reason for that is the increase in the intensity of the capital use (in January-June 2008 there was an increase in production facilities load growth rates16) against the background of a slight extension of the input of the changes in the capital reserves (the volume of fixed assets).

According to the preliminary estimations, TFE growth rates in the first half of 2008 were below the figure in the corresponding period of the previous year. The input of this component was below the growth rates of the GDP share, accounted for by the changes in the main factors input.

Taking into account the value nature of the indices used for the decomposition, TFE estimation is defined not only by the changes in the level of the technology used in production and management efficiency, but also by the price situation. In the first half of 2008 the average price of the oil grade Urals was equal to USD 105.5 per barrel, which is more than by 1.5 times higher than the level of the first half of 2007. The division of the estimation of the TFE into that accounted for by the oil prices dynamics and the final remainder results in the latter component figure becoming negative.

Decomposition of the growth for individual kinds of economic activity in the industry was made on the basis of the industrial production index. The TFE estimation obtained in this way does not include the component, connected with the changes in prices and the volumes of the intermediate consumption, which can be regarded as the influence of changes in prices on the GAV (gross added value) of the branch of the industry.

Growth rates of the industrial production volumes at the enterprises of the extractive industries have reduced: whereas in January-June 2007 they were equal to 3.0%, in the first half of 2008 to only 0.5%.

Output growth rates decomposition (table 2) for the enterprises, extracting minerals, testifies that in the first half of 2008 the trends evolved in 2005-2007 sustained. The same as before, in January-June 2008, labor input contribution in the output growth rates for this kind of the economic activity remained negative. Such a situation is defined by the reduction in the number of those employed17 at the processing enterprises against the background of practically steady growth rates of the working hours.

The same as in 2005-2007 the increase in the investments in this kind of the economic activity contributed in the rise in the fixed assets volumes growth rates, which in the first half of 2008 were the most significant component of the extractive sector output growth rates.

Against the background of the rising main factors growth rates the decrease in the output growth rates at the enterprises, extracting minerals, is defined by the reduction of the total factor efficiencyin January-June 2008.

The estimation of the change in facilities load is based on the index of the electricity consumed that is calculated by the periods within the year on the supposition that the share of the power consumed in the amount of produced is constant.

Preliminary estimation of the number of the employed in the industrial sector is based on the data on the number of the replaced working positions in January-June 2007, on the supposition that the ratio of the number of the employed to the number of the replaced working positions by the kinds of the economic activities is constant.

TFE estimation by the kinds of economic activities is shifted because of the lack of the data necessary to estimate the changes in the facilities lad extent at the enterprises of the industrial sector by the periods within the year Table Decomposition of Industrial Production Growth Rates in First Half of Electricity, gas and Processing indus Minerals extraction water production tries and distribution Growth Growth Growth As % As % As % rates rates rates Industrial production vol0.5 100 8.4 100 4.1 umeFactors input 4.7 935.75 2.8 33.38 1.9 45.Labor 0.5 108.11 0.6 7.03 0.6 14.Number of the employed 0.7 142.62 0.9 10.98 0.1 2.Working hours* 0.2 34.52 0.3 3.95 0.5 11.Fixed assets volume** 5.2 1043.86 3.4 40.41 1.3 31.TFE 4.2 835.75 5.6 66.62 2.2 54.The most favorable situation is observed in the processing industries, whose output volume growth in the first half of 2008 was 8.4% on the corresponding period of the previous year (as compared with 11.4% in January-June 2007). The same as at the extractive enterprises, the results of the decomposition of this kind of the economic activity testify that the input of the labor in the output growth rates is negative, which is defined by the reduction in the number of those employed in the processing industry and not compensated by the increase in the working hours. High level of investments in this kind of the economic activity determined the increase in the fixed assets volumes growth rates. However in contrast to the extractive industry, in January-June 2008 processing enterprises demonstrate the increase in the efficiency, which is the dominating output growth factor for this sector of the industry, defining, according to the preliminary estimations 66.6% of the production volume growth rates. It should though be noted that the TFE growth rates have decreased as compared with the previous year.

In contrast to 2007 the output volume in electricity, gas and water production and distribution in the first half of 2008 went up: increase in production was equal to 4.1% (as compared with 3.8% in January-June 2007). Increase in output growth rates in this kind of the economic activity was accounted for both by the increase in the main factors input, and the increase in the total factor efficiency. Positive growth rates of the main factors input are defined by the increase of the all components considered:

the number of the employed at the enterprises of this kind of economic activities, the hours worked by them and the volume of the fixed assets. It was TFE, whose input was equal to 54.5%, that was the dominating component of the growth rates at the enterprises of electricity, gas and water production.

Thus, according to the preliminary estimations, the GDP growth observed in the first half of was nearly equally determined by the increase in the main factors input and TFE increase. At the same time on exclusion of the estimation of the price situation at the world markets input, input of the efficiency in the GDP growth becomes negative. Increase in the TFE growth rates was demonstrated only by the enterprises of electricity, gas and water production and distribution; in the processing industries the efficiency also increased but the growth rates were below those in the first half of 2007; and in the extractive industries the TFE decreased.

A military-economic express analysis of the military actions in the Caucasus V. Tsymbal Below we present the results of our express analysis of the military and economic aspects of the military actions that took place in August in the Caucasus, these aspects being of especial importance with regard to the impending discussion of the draft federal budget for the years 2009 - 2011, and the revision of RF national security strategy.

Military actions began, as is well known, on the night of 8 August, with an attack on the Russian peace-keepers and Georgias aggression against South Osetia, where many residents are RF citizens.

Data of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade The retaliatory military actions spread from South Osetia into those regions of Georgia from where that countrys forces had been launching or preparing to launch their attacks. The targets included the sites of concentration of military units and armament stores in the environs of Gori; the runways of the Tbilisi aircraft plant and the air base Vasiani near Rustavi; the airport, its surrounding areas and armament stores near Senaki; also, the retaliatory actions spread into that part of Abkhazias territory (the Kodor Gorge) which had previously been occupied by Georgian troops in order to prepare their invasion into Abkhazia. It is difficult to judge as to what degree exactly these actions went too far (thus they were characterized by the new US Ambassador to the RF, who at the same time recognized that they had been justified20), because this definition is too vague. War, while being a continuation of policy, once started, follows its own logic. One example is the war started by the USA and their allies against international terrorism.

The goal of our publication is not to discuss the political aspects of the conflict. We can only note that if those who are criticizing Russia were being guided by the UN Charter, where the notion of aggression has been defined long ago, as well as by other documents of international law, they would have noticed no violations of legal norms commited by Russia in her retaliatory actions.

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