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01.09.22.09.13.10.03.11.24.11.15.12.06.01.27.01.17.02.09.03.30.03.20.04.10.05.31.05.21.06.12.07.02.08.23.08.13.09.04.10.25.10.15.11.USD/EURO 01.09.01.10.31.10.30.11.30.12.29.01.28.02.30.03.29.04.29.05.28.06.28.07.27.08.26.09.26.10.25.11.Therefore, the trading activity of the European currency has been raised practically times 1.5. The largest amount of trading in EURO within the period under review was noticed on November 10 at the level of EURO 89.67 mln, the minimum level of EURO 24,9 mln was observed on November 22.

Table 2.

Financial market indicators/indices Month June July August September October* Monthly inflation 0,3% 0,7% 0,2% 0,1% 0,3% Estimated annual inflation given the current month 3,66% 8,73% 2,43% 1,21% 3,7% trend Russian Central Bank refinancing rate 11,5% 11,5% 11,5% 11,5% 11% Average yield to maturity for all OFZ bond issues 6,59% 6,09% 6,18% 6,07% 6,1% (% per annum) Monthly turnover on the GKO-OFZ market (RUR 28,26 32,25 49,79 45,32 20,bln) Minfin bond yield to maturity at end of month (% per annum):

tranche 5 6,11% 5,88% 5,59% 5,54% 5,6% tranche 7 6,24% 5,95% 5,64% 5,43% 5,5% tranche 8 4,74% 4,70% 4,60% 4,22% 4,3% Eurobond yield to maturity at the end of month (% per annum):

2007 6,11% 5,75% 5,57% 5,35% 5,4% 2010 6,06% 5,80% 5,54% 5,05% 5,5% 2018 6,52% 6,21% 5,88% 5,80% 5,9% 2028 6,80% 6,49% 6,21% 6,13% 6,2% 2030 6,34% 6,02% 5,74% 5,70% 5,8% Interbank credit-MIACR rate (% per annum at end 5,75% 5,49% 3,15% 4,75% 8,0% of month) on 1-day loans Official RUR to USD exchange rate at the end of 27,0789 26,8718 26,7379 26,7799 26,month (RUR/USD) Official RUR to Euro exchange rate at the end of 33,9759 34,1084 34,3127 33,9783 34,month (RUR/EUR) Change in the official RUR/USD exchange rate in 0,35% -0,76% -0,50% 0,16% -0,12% one month (%) Change in the official RUR/Euro exchange rate in -1,91% 0,39% 0,60% -0,97% 0,15% one month (%) RTS stock market turnover in one month (in USD 1014,37 638,55 941,96 759,60 900,mln, for shares on the RTS index list) RTS-1 index at the end of month 1503,06 1565,46 1659,66 1563,19 Change in RTS-1 index in one month (%) 1,79% 4,15% 6,02% -5,81% 2,4% * Estimated data D. Polevoy The real sector of the economy: factors and trends A characteristic feature of the year 2006 became the accelerated growth of investment demand, as compared to the changes in consumer demand. On the whole, during January through October 2006, the retail trade turnover increased, as compared to the same period of the previous year, by 12.5 %;

that of commercial services rendered to the population by 8.0 %, while investments in fixed assets grew by 12.6 %.

The forecasted values of macroeconomic indices in the period until the end of the year 2006, as calculated by the IET, have shown that the expected GDP growth should be 106.7 %, that of investments in fixed assets 111.8 %, and that of industrial production - 103.4%.

In 2006, an accelerating growth intensity was observed in almost all spheres of activity. According to the preliminary data provided by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the GDP growth in Q III 2006 amounted to 6.9 %, which is by 0.3 p.p. higher than the similar index for the previous year, while the index in the output of production and services in the main spheres of economic activity in January through September was 5.7 % against 4.5 % in the same period of the previous year. One of the main components of economic growth in 2006 became the continuing intensive growth in consumer and investment demand.

The structural shifts occurring in commodities production in the year 2006 were determined by the accelerated growth of construction works, as compared to the dynamics of industrial production.

While the volume of works in the construction activity category increased by 13.2 % against 9.0 % in January through October 2005, growth in industrial production increased to 4.3 % and became by 0.6 p.p. higher than the previous years index. The dynamics in agriculture in 2006 was characterized by a more moderate rate of growth than in the previous year. In January through October 2006, agricultural production growth was 1.3 %, against 2.2 % in the same period of 2005.

A dominating influence on the changes in the services sectors development was produced by an intensive turnover growth in retail and wholesale trade. Growth of the retail trade turnover in January through October 2006 was by 12.5 %, that of wholesale trade by 10.1 %, while that of the volume of commercial services rendered to the population by 8.0 %. The growth in GDP by almost one-third in January through September 2006 can be explained by the increasing role of trade in generating economic growth. The consumer boom was sustained by the accelerating growth rates of the populations real incomes and the ongoing intensive expansion of consumer credit.

A positive effect on the consumer market was produced by growth in the supply of commodities and by growing competition, primarily with imports, as well as by lowered expectations in respect to inflation alongside continuing economic growth. The inflation rate on the consumer market in January through October 2006 was 107.5 % against 109.2% in the same period of the previous year. In face of receding inflation, the growth trajectory of the populations real incomes became steeper than that in the previous year. In the period from January through October 2006, the populations incomes increased by 11.5% against 9.1 % in the same period of 2005 and 8.4 % - of 2004, while the amount of bank credits granted to the population rose since the years beginning grew by 44.5 %.

The last three months of the current year saw progressive acceleration in the investment growth rate. The growth in investments in fixed assets in Auigust, September and October 2006, as compared to the same period of the year 2005, demonstrated a progressive acceleration (by 12.6 %, 15.0 %, and 19.1 %, respectively). On the whole, gowth in January through October 2006 was 12.6 % against 9.% in the same period of the previous year. It should be noted that a positive impact on the activization of the investment activity was made by the implementation of the system of government-initiated measures, aimed at lowering the customs duties on imported equipment, improving the depreciation policy, and providing the opportunity to compensate for the amounts of paid VAT by gradually redeeming it while putting in operation construction sequences.

Besides, growing investment demand was contributed to by the increasing use of industrial capacities. Due to the continuing rise of production volume, in Q III 2006 the intensity of the use of industrial capacities was 68 %, which is by 2 p.p. higher than the same index in Q II of this year, and by p.p. - that of 2005. Alongside the growth in domestic business activity, the structure of the sources of financing for investments in fixed assets has been demonstrating certain changes. In January through September 2006, the share of enterprises and organizations own resources in the structure of the sources of financing for investments went down by 2.5 p.p. against the same index in the period of January through September 2005 and amounted to 45.1 %, while the share of bank loans went up to 9.3 % against 6.5 %.

On 27 November 2006, the international rating agency Standard & Poor's raised Russias longterm credit rating by one point - from BBB to BBB+, forecasted as stable. Thus, Russia is now only one step away from being placed into the group of super-reliable borrowers. The growing rating index is the result of the recently increased Russias gold and foreign currency reserves, diminished government debt, improved state budget indices and the dynamic growth of the Stabilization Fund. It should be noted that in July the international rating agency Fitch also raised Russias ceiling rating from BBB+ to A-. This could be explained by the considerable degree of liberalization on the capital and currency control markets, strengthened monetary policy and deeper integration into the global economy. The increased rating was the first serious response of the international economic community to the Russian roubles having been declared convertible.

This countrys higher investment attractiveness and credit ratings, as well as those of some individual companies, have represented factors that resulted in an accelerated dynamics of foreign investments in the Russian economy. In January through September 2006, investments amounting to a total of $ 35.3 billion were poured into Russias national economy, which is by 31.7 % higher than the level achieved last year. As for direct foreign investments, their amount was by 55.5 % higher than that in January through September 2005, while their share in the total volume of received foreign investments went up from 24.6 % to 29.1%. The accumulated foreign capital in the Russian economy as of the end of September 2006 was $ 130 billion. The highest share in accumulated foreign capital belonged to direct investments 49.3 %, while the share of all other investments was 48.8 %, and that of portfolio investments 1.9 %.

The favorable situation in foreign trade this year has been, as before, producing a positive influence on the domestic economic situation. The changes in the level of exports remained one of the main factors influencing the changes in the use of GDP. The year 2006 saw the continuing trend of an accelerated growth in domestic demand, as compared to external demand. The contribution of exports to economic growth began to decrease against the backdrop of a gradual slowdown in the rate of growth in imports, especially during the period of August through October 2006. The rate of growth in the value volume of exports has become markedly slower by comparison with that observed last year, which can be explained by the quite moderate growth of the international prices of the main groups of commodities. The growth of exports in terms of value in January through September 2006 was 28.%, which is by 7.2 p.p. lower than the same index seen last year, despite the rise in the physical volume of exports to 6.4 % against 4.7 % in the same period of 2005. More than 3/4 of the growth of the export of commodities in terms of value can be explained by the high international market prices of the fuel and energy resources, metal ores and metals, and - by the increased physical volume of exports.

An item-by-item comparison of the indices of foreign trade has shown that, as the rouble is becoming stronger, in the Russian economy there has been emerging a trend toward an accelerated growth of imports against exports, both in physical volume and in value volume. As seen by the results of the period of January through September 2006, the growth in imports value by 0.2 p.p. was higher than that of exports, including by 24.2 p.p. in September. The import of commodities in January through October this year, as estimated by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, amounted to $ 127.8 billion, having increased against the same period of last year by 29.0 %.

Growth in imports was seen in respect to all commodities, accelerated growth being demonstrated by the import of machinery, equipment and means of transportation. The high share of imported commodities ensures that demand and supply on both the consumer and investment market are wellbalanced. Investments in purchases of imported equipment in the first half-year 2006 constituted 20.% of the total investments in machinery, equipment and means of transportation, while the share of imports in the structure of retail commodities amounted to 43.8 %, including that of foodstuffs (34.%) and nonfood commodities (51.7 %). On the one hand, dynamic growth of imports contributes to the creation of the necessary competitive environment and restricts the growth of the prices of commodities, while on the other, the high share of imports in retail turnover has a negative impact on the formation of a balance of resources from the point of view of the commodities markets dependence on the situation in foreign trade.

2004 2005 2006 2004 2005 Index of value volume Index of physical volume export import Figure 1. Changes in the indices of growth in the export of commodities, in terms of value and in physical volume, in January through September 2004 2006, as % of the same period of the previous year.

In a situation when there exists a high level of concentration of domestic exports in the raw materials group, the dependence of the rate of economic growth both on the demand and the fluctuations of prices on the global market, as well as on the conditions under which the extracting industries are functioning, has also become considerably greater. In face of the emerging trend toward a slowdown in the rate of growth of the international prices, the activity in the extracting industries is becoming more intense, which, on the one hand, has made it possible to counterbalance the negative effect of changes in the external demand, while on the other, has met the growing demand on the domestic market. Under conditions of a low growth rate in the extracting industries and a high resource intensity of production there, the problem presented by the lack of an adequate balance between demand and supply is becoming more acute, especially on the market of fuel and energy resources and electric power. The production index of the extraction of mineral resources in January through October was 102.2 % against 101.1 % in the same period of the previous year, including that of oil extraction (102.2 %), gas extraction (102.6 %) and the extraction of metal ores (102.5 %).

The acceleration of the growth rate of domestic demand from 9.0 % in the period of January through September 2005 to 10.2 % in the same period of this year has been sustained by the positive changes occurring both in domestic production and imports. In face of a less intensive growth in the processing industries, the share of domestic production in the structure of the sources employed to meet the demand on the domestic market has diminished by 1.3 p.p., as compared to the period of January through September 2005. The development of the processing industries represents one of the main factors that sustain a dynamic economic growth. The output growth in the processing industries during the period of January through October 2006 was 4.7 %, against 5.3 % in the same period of the previous year.

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