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Figure. Changes in export and import growth indices, in terms of value and physical volume, rates of production of commodities and services, by types of economic activity, in January-through-September periods of years 2004 - 2005, as a percentage of corresponding periods of previous years 2004 2005 2004 value index physical volume index export import In face of the high concentration level of a certain, rather limited, group of raw-material commodities within the structure of Russian export, the dependence of the rate of economic growth on both the level of demand and the fluctuations in prices on the international market, and on the functioning conditions in the extraction industries, has also increased. Production index in the extraction of mineral resources in January through October July 2005 went down to 101.0%, as compared to 107.2 % in the same period of the previous year, including that in oil extraction to 102.2%, and the extraction of metal ores to 97.5%. In a situation of increasing tax load, the weakening of the oil companies incentives to intensify growth in extraction and export was noted, which, accordingly, resulted in a slowing rate of export growth in physical terms.

The changes in export growth represented one of the main factors that were influencing the changes in the use of GDP. In contrast to 2004, external demand was no more playing a leading role in determining the proportions of the use of GDP. By the results of Quarter I of 2005, external demand growth was 6.8%, while that in Quarters II and III was 7.5%, as compared to 11.8% in the first three quarters of the previous year.

The accelerating rates of domestic demand, which increased from 8.2% in Quarter I of 2005 to 9.2% in Quarter III, was sustained by the positive changes occurring in both domestic production and import. This year was gradually increasing rates of domestic production from 4.6% in Quarter I to 6.3% in Quarter III. As a result, the share of domestic production within the structure of sources for satisfying the demand on the domestic market increased from 38.5% in Quarter III of 2004 to 51.1% in the same period of the current year, while the share of import increased accordingly, from 61.5% to 48.9%.

However, while analyzing all these indices, it should be borne in mind that the structure of resources for the domestic market was being considerably influenced by the growing differentiation in the rates of growth in the extracting and processing industries.

The development of processing industries constitutes one of the basic factors responsible for sustaining a dynamic economic growth. From January through October 2005 the growth index of processing industries amounted to 6%, as compared to 8.5% in the same period of the previous year. The persistently high rate of growth in processing industries was accompanied by an accelerated growth in investments in these industries (117 % in January through September 2004), while the index of investment growth in extracting industries and in the economy as a whole was rather moderate (109.9%). Structural changes were taking place against the background of accelerated output in machine-building, growing output rates of coke and oil products (to 105.8%, as compared to 101.4%), of foodstuffs (to 104.9%, as compared to 102.8%), and slower decline in textile and garment production (to 97.9%, as compared to 93.6%.

The situation on the market of investment commodities was developing against the background of an accelerated growth in export of machinery, equipment and means of transportation (143.0%), as compared to the changes taking place in domestic production and investments in fixed assets. The situation in 2005 was significantly influenced by a rather pronounced slowdown in the rate of output in machine-building, differentiated by sectors (or types of activity). As compared to the period from January through October 2004, the rates of production of machinery and equipment went down by 17.2 p.p.; of electrical, electronic and optical equipment - by 10.4 p.p.; of means of transportation and equipment by 7.2 p.p., amounting to 105.0%, 117.4% and 104.7%, respectively. The disproportions in the structures of demand and supply, and the low competitive capacity of machine-building in terms of quality and customizing potential further promoted the trend of increasing the role of imported machines and equipment in the structure of resources on the market of consumer and material-technical commodities. Domestic machine-building was especially sensitive to the changing situation on the domestic market. While the import of passenger cars grew, in physical terms, by 47.8%, and that of freight cars - by 18.9%, the reduction in domestic production amounted to 2.6%. In view of the existing structure of the domestic production of investment commodities, import remains one of the main sources for the upgrading of fixed assets, as well as for industrial reconstruction and modernization.

The investments in purchases of imported equipment in the first half of the year 2005 amounted to 24.9% of the total investments in machinery, equipment and means of transportation, as compared to 23.5% in the same period of the previous year.

Figure. Changes in rates of machine-building production (by types of economic activity) investments in fixed assets, and import of machinery and equipment, in periods from January through October of years 2002- 2005, as percentage of same periods of previous years 2002 2003 2004 production of machinery and equipment production of electrical equipment - production of means of transportation and equipment import of machinery and equipment investments in fixed assets.

According to the macroeconomic indices forecasted for the period until the end of the year 2005, calculated by the IET on the basis of the existing trends and scenario-based changes in the functioning of the national economy, the persisting high rates of growth in external and domestic demand remain the main growth factors. The expected GDP growth is 105.7%, the growth in investments in fixed assets 109.0%, the growth in industrial production 104.1%. In terms of annual indices, it is expected that the resulting growth in 2005 in almost all industrial sectors will be between 1.3% (in ferrous metallurgy) and 12% (in machine-building).

O. I. Izriadnova The situation in industry in November The discontinuation of the fall in demand coupled with a low level of the stocks of finished products, will probably permit Russian industry to demonstrate a more robust growth in November, as compared with that registered in the middle of the year. However, the approaching period of lull in January will, most likely, result in a reduction in the rate of production acceleration.

According to the Rosstat, in October the growth rate of industrial production went down to 3.5 percent, which was caused, according to the estimates of the Center for Development, by a reduction in the rate of growth in the processing branches of industry, which slumped to 5.8 percent (against the 7.1-percent rate of growth in the third quarter of 2004), and also by the stagnation in power engineering owing to a very warm autumn and a belated onset of winter. In general, in the period from January to October, the volume of industrial production rose by 3.9 percent by comparison with the same period of the past year.

It is probable that in November the negative tendency of recent months will disappear, and Russian industry will manage to demonstrate a more steady growth than that seen in the middle of the year.

The reason for optimism is that the fall in demand has finally stopped, while the stocks of finished goods have fallen to a rather low level. This is the positive component in the first data that had been released concerning the situation in industry in November. However, the oncoming January lull will, most likely, slow down the acceleration of production.

CHANGES IN EFFECTIVE DEMAND, CLEARED OF SEASONALITY % (BALANCE=%GROWTH-%REDUCTION) EXPECTED -ACTUAL ----7/98 7/99 7/00 7/01 7/02 7/03 7/04 7/ November brought a halt to the absolute reduction in the demand for domestic industrial products.

But it is still too early to herald the beginning of a general growth in the number of sales in industry.

The initial data demonstrated a minimum decline in demand ( -1% balance); clearing of seasonality produced a zero balance, and the exclusion of accidental fluctuations left the balance in the negative (2%). Nevertheless, according to all data, the November results were the best ever seen in the past 3-months. At the branch level, a steady (non-seasonal) growth in demand is being demonstrated only by the timber, woodwork & timber, and food-processing industries. In the other branches, the number of sales was either declining, or its growth was slowing down. However, the assessments of demand point to the insufficient strength of the positive impulses in November, the degree of satisfaction by the volumes of sales fell to 50 percent (from 56 percent in October) owing to the rise in the share of answers below normal. In machine-building, the degree of satisfaction by the level of demand declined to 29 percent, and in light industry to 26 percent. The opposite pole is represented by electrical power engineering (81 percent) and non-ferrous metallurgy (89 percent).

Despite the evident problems with selling, enterprises were able to maintain the stocks of finished products at a relatively low level of redundancy. This circumstance creates an additional factor of growth in Russian industry: as soon as the producers realize that growth in the number of sales has become stable, they will start to work bearing in mind not only the current demand, but also the warehouses, so as to increase the fullness of the latter to a level necessary for quickly satisfying any new customers.

BALANCE OF ESTIMATES OF STOCKS OF FINISHED PRODUCT % (BALANCE = %ABOVE -- %BELOW NORM NORMAL BALANCE OF ESTIMATES --1/98 1/99 1/00 1/01 1/02 1/03 1/04 1/05 1/In November, the conducted surveys demonstrated an increase in the rate of growth in output. The balance (cleared of seasonality) grew by 5 points in one month, and became the best in the past months. Production started to grow more intensively in all branches, excepting ferrous metallurgy, the chemical industry, and the petrochemical industry. The use of production capacities also increased, to 66 percent, in the fourth quarter, which is the best result achieved in 2005, and is only slightly below the historical high registered in late 2004.

USE OF PRODUCTION CAPACITIES (%) AND PROVISION W % ORDERS (MONTHS) MONTHS LOAD PROVISION 1/93 1/94 1/95 1/96 1/97 1/98 1/99 1/00 1/01 1/02 1/03 1/04 1/05 1/During the past three months the forecasts of changes in demand were fluctuating within a relatively narrow interval (+8+12%), representing the nearly worst result in the past 24 months (the historical low for the whole post-default period, +3 percent, was registered in August 2005). After the clearing of accidental fluctuations, the forecasts for August - November are the worst since July 1999. In the months to come, the absolute reduction in the number of sales is expected in metallurgy, light industry, and the construction industry. There will be practically no demand in machine-building.

On the eve of the new-year holidays, the production plans of enterprises lost another several points of optimism, and became the most moderate since late 1998 (!). Nevertheless, in the months to come, growth in output will continue in all industries, except for metallurgy.

S. Tsukhlo Foreign trade In September 2005 the Russian foreign trade turnover again reached the record level over the last years. This took place due to continuation of the growth of the value volume of export deliveries, explained by favorable state of affairs on the world market.

In October 2005 the World Trade Organization published a report on the world trade, according to which this year the growth rates of the world trade volumes will be lowered considerably in comparison with the respective indicator of 2004.

It is expected that the world export of goods will grow in 2005 only by 6,5%, while in 2004 its growth showed a record 9%. While in the second quarter of 2005 a growth of trade was observed in the member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development, in the first half of this year, the slowdown in the growth rates of the volume of trade was observed. Most noticeably this affected the domestic Asian market and the volume of U.S. import. It should be noted that the real oil prices reached their greatest value over the last 20 years, which had a negative impact on the consumer and business activity in oil-consuming countries.

By contrast, the indicators that characterize the Russian foreign trade are continuing to grow steadily. In September 2005 the Russian foreign trade turnover, calculated upon the balance of payment methodology, reached, compared to the respective period of the prior year, by 32,5%, to USD 32.bn. In comparison with the previous month, this indicator increased by 0,3%.

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Balance Export Import Source: Central Bank of the RF Figure 1. Major Indices of the Russian Foreign Trade (bn dollars) The volume of export in September 2005 amounted USD 22,2 bn, which is by 36,2% greater than the respective indicator of the previous year. The import in September exceeded the respective indicator of 2004 by 27,6% and made USD 10.4 bn. In September 2005 the trade surplus increased to USD 11.8 bn against USD 8.4 bn in the September of the prior year.

As before, the major factor of growth of export was high prices for basic minerals of Russian export, particularly for energy sources.

The world prices with account of the Russian export structure as aggregated by goods, including about 70% of its cost, raised (by an estimate of the Central Bank of Russia) in September 2005 on average by 0,2%. Over the 9 months of 2005, as compared to the respective period of 2004, they were higher on average by 37%.

In September 2005 against August the average oil price of Brent, Dubaiskaya and Zapadnotekhasskaya lowered by 0,3% (up to USD 61.7 a barrel), for Urals by 1,5% (up to USD 57.8 a barrel). In January-September 2005, in comparison with the respective period of 2004, those indicators were by 44,8 and 48,2% greater, accordingly.

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