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On some days of September prices for oil at New York commodities and raw materials exchange reached the level of USD 80 per barrel and were close to this level up to the end of September. In September average price of oil grade Brent was equal to USD 75.9 per barrel, which is 5.3% higher than in the previous month and 22.2% more than in September 2006. Average world price for oil grade Urals was USD 73.8 per barrel and increase d by 6.9% as compared with August 2007 and by 25.2% as compared with September 2006. It was political factor (Iran) and situation at USA stock market, which resulted in considerable decrease in dollar exchange rate against euro, as well as current factors (storms, instability in oil producing areas) that influenced prices growth.

As a result of oil prices growth at the world market export duty rate for oil in Russia will go up to USD 275.4 per ton from 1 December and will reach new record value. Export duty for light oil products will be equal to USD 197.8 per ton, and for dark oil products to USD 106.6 per ton. From 1 October 2007 duty rates for oil, light and dark oil products have been, correspondingly, USD 250.3, 181 and 97.5 per ton.

World prices for aluminum also remained at quite a high level but below the maximum, reached in May 2006 that is USD 2861.5 per ton. Average monthly price at the London metal exchange for aluminum was equal to USD 2392.9 per ton and decreased by 4.9% in September as compared with August 2007, and by 3.2% as compared with 3.2%. Over nine months of 2007 average price for aluminum was equal to USD 2703.3 per ton, exceeding the price for the corresponding period of 2006 by 7.3%.

After decreasing in January-February of the current year world price for copper at London Metal Exchange has been rising, remaining at quite a high level in terms of its past values. As a result of nine months of 2007 average price for copper has exceeded the price of the corresponding period of 2006 by 7.4% and was equal to USD 7656.5 per ton in September, having increased by 1.9% as compared with August and by 0.7% as compared with September 2006.

World price for nickel has risen dramatically since the beginning of the year. In September average price reached USD 29605 per ton, increasing by 7.3% as compared with August 2007 and decreasing by 1.7% as compared with September 2006. Over January-September 2007 world prices for nickel have exceeded by 1.times average prices for the same period of 2006.

In January-September 2007 the main factors for prices for non-ferrous metals increase were the following:

high level of industry demand in the world (in particular from China), low level of stocks reserves of nickel and reduction in stocks of copper as well as decrease in dollar exchange rates.

TABLE Average Monthly World Prices in September of the respective year 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Oil (Brent), 61.7 62.1 75.USD/bbl 18.12 13.1 22.6 32.15 26.18 28.26 27.1 42.Natural gas, USD /1 mln 2.251 1.858 2.62 5.118 2.204 3.625 4.678 5.483 9.75 8.41 6.BTU Petroleum, 1.958 1.596 2.USD /gallon 0.579 0.421 0.683 0.941 0.757 0.797 0.832 1.Copper, 2032.7 1676.4 1876.8 2037.5 1452.9 1498.3 1816.4 2892.6 3858.0 7602 7656.USD/ton Aluminum, 1544.6 1391.3 1493.6 1600.2 1342.6 1294.7 1415.0 1726.0 1840.0 2473 2392.USD/ton Nickel, 6523.6 4229.8 6932 8654.3 5040.9 6592.5 9996.1 13298 14228 30131 USD/ton Source: calculated on the basis of London Metal Exchange (Great Britain, London), International Petroleum Exchange (London) data Over 9 months of 2007 Russian export went up as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year by 10.8% up to USD 247.9 bln. According to the data of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade of Russia increase in monetary volumes of export was 63.5% due to prices growth and 35.4% due to increase in physical volumes.

Analysis of export goods structure demonstrates that it was the export of foodstuffs and agriculture raw materials that has been increasing at the fastest rates by more than 1.7 times in January-September 2007 as compared with the corresponding period of 2006. Growth of foodstuffs export was owing to increase in ex port of the main commodity of this group wheat and wheat and rye mixture by more than 2.4 times in terms of value, prices and physical volumes growing respectively by 73.7% and 39.7%.

The proportion of the main export group, fuel and energy commodities, has decreased from 70.5% in January-September 2006 to 67% in the corresponding period of the current year. Reduction of fuel and energy commodities export was partially because of the decrease by 14.2% of physical volumes of natural gas export, which is accounted for by decrease in its consumption during warm winter.

Over 9 months of 2007 Russian import has increased by 36.3% and reached USD 153.5 bln. Main factors, causing considerable import growth, remained high growth rates of Russian economy, growth of population income and continuous ruble appreciation. Recently the role of the price factor has been increasing, in particular, prices for foodstuffs and agriculture raw materials import have been increasing.

In September, according to calculations of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation, real appreciation of ruble against dollar was 1.6%, against GB pound around 1.3%, depreciation against euro 0.4%. On the whole over January-September (September of the current year against December 2006) ruble appreciation against dollar was 8% in real terms, against euro 4.4%, against pound of sterling 8.3%. The dynamics of real dispensable monetary incomes of population remained at high level in January-September 2007 increase as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year was equal to 12.4%, real wages increasing at faster rates (16.2 %).

In September of the current year Russian import from non-CIS countries exceeded the volumes of September 2006 by all main consolidated goods items. For instance, import of machine-building production increased by 42.0% and was equal to USD 7.5 bln, of chemistry production by 29.7% (USD 2.09 bln), of foodstuffs and raw materials for their production - by 8.3% (USD 1 bln 625.0 mln), of textile goods and footwear - by 53.6% (USD 820.0 mln).

Import of machine-building production increased mainly due to growth by 1.6 times of land transport purchase, whose share in goods structure of import from non-CIS countries reached 19.6% in September 2007, having increased by 3.4 per cent points as compared with September 2006. Simultaneously purchase of mechanical equipment went up by 31.9%, of electric equipment by 35.2%, of optic tools and instruments by 48.0%.

Positive balance-of-payments of the Russian federation was equal to USD 94.4 bln in Janu -September 2007, which is by 15.1% lower than over the corresponding period of the previous year (USD 111.1 bln).

According to the IET forecast, foreign trade turnover will grow bu 20.5% in 2007, export increasing by 13.3%, import by 20.5%. Surplus of trade balance will reduce by 11% as compared with 2006. If growth rates of the main foreign trade indices will remain at the same level in the forthcoming years, in 2010 negative trade balance is to be expected.

In November 2007 the Government of the Russian Federation continued the work in the field of tariff regulation in order to stabilize prices for foodstuffs. It should be remembered that during October the Government already decreased import duties for milk and dairy from 15 to 5% for the period of 6 months in order to stop the prices for foodstuffs from growing. And to decrease grain-crops export from the country since 12 November 10% duty for wheat export and 30% for barley export has been in effect.

To enliven import of oil to Russia the import duty rate concerning some kinds of oils for the period of months was changed in accordance with resolution No 714 from 27 October 2007. Import duty rate for oil (excluding primary packing of 10 l and less net volume) was established at the level of 5% of the customs value. Earlier it was equal to 15% and no less than Euro 0.1 per kilo. Duty rate for sun flower seed oil in primary packing of net volume of 10 l and less is not to be changed and is 15% as before but no less than Euro 0.14per kilo. The resolution also envisages the decrease down to 5% of customs duties for other kinds of oil, including colza and soy oil. Until recently either mixed or ad valorem (per cent) duty rate was applied to these goods groups.

The Government has also decided to decrease import customs duties for cabbage, carrot and red beet from 15 to 5%. These duty rates will be in effect from 15 January to 1 July 2008 inclusive. Such measures to provide domestic market with vegetables are undertaken second year in row.

According to the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No 756 from 6 November permanent zero import duty rates are introduced for the following kinds of nuts and seeds: shelled cashew nuts, shelled and non-shelled almond, shelled hazel nuts, sesame seeds. Earlier zero import duty rates were introduced for these kinds of nuts and seeds for 9 month period.

On 10 November 2007 the Government of the Russian Federation approved permanent zero import duty rate for green and black tea not produced in Russia and some kinds of untreated hides in order to provide domestic enterprises with sufficient amount of raw materials in the environment of leather goods production growth.

At the beginning of 2007 these duty rates were decreased from 5% to 0% for a nine-month period. For instance, over 9 months of 2007 there were by 9.4% more tea imported into the Russian Federation in terms of physical volume.

In November 2007 next round of negotiations on Russias accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) took place. It was between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which was the last (60th) country that expressed the desire to conduct bilateral negotiations with Russia on its accession to the WTO. It should be noted that Saudi Arabia does not have any distinct requirements and confines itself to study of trade regime of Russia. Goods and sales exchange between countries is relatively insignificant. The share of Saudi Arabia in the total foreign trade turnover of the Russian Federation was equal to 0.07% in 2005 and 0.06% in 2006.

Final agreements can be reached in Geneva in December next multilateral consultations on Russias accession to the WTO will take place there. Russia is yet to finish negotiations process with Georgia, with has recalled the protocol that had been signed, and to conduct a round of multilateral negotiations on accession to WTO.

According to the latest forecast by the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade Russia will join WTO no sooner than 1 July 2008.

Factors of Economic Growth in 2000-E. Astafieva The results of GDP growth breakdown by extensive and intensive components in 2000-2007 are presented in the section, which allow estimating of the quality of growth, predict further trends of economic development. It is demonstrated that total factor productivity (TFP) remains the main factor of GDP growth, accounting for approximately 60% of output growth rates. Connection between TFP and prices for oil is considered.

According to the preliminary estimation of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade in the increase in GDP real volume will be equal to 7.3% as compared with the previous year, exceeding the growth of this index not only in 2006, when it was 6.7%, but also average growth rates in the period after 1998. Output growth is accompanied by the increase in main extensive factors of production use, and in 2007 is characterized by acceleration of growth rates of both labor and capital use. In contrast to 2006, when decrease in growth rates of the number of the employed down to 0.4% (which has been the lowest value of the index since 2000) according to Ministry for Economic Development and Trade forecast the growth of average annual number of the employed will exceed 1%, which is by 0.3 p.p. more than the average for this index in 2000-2006. In spite of investments in the fixed assets growing by 13.7%, in the environment of considerable deterioration of production facilities utilized the growth in fixed assets volume was 2.3% in 2006. The estimation of the volume of fixed assets growth in 2007, made on the basis of investment growth forecast, which is, according to the data of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade is equal to 18.2%, will be 3.0%14.

According to the breakdown15 made (Table 1, Figure 1) GDP growth rates in 2000-2006 were accounted for by changes in labor inputs on average by 5.1%, by changes in the capital involved in production by 32.1%. The main factor determining output growth in that period remains TFP, changes of which account for on average 62.8% of output growth rates. Predicted contributions of corresponding factors in 2007 are: 5.3% for labor inputs, 40.9% for capital inputs and 53.8% for TFP.

Input in GDP growth rates, accounted for by the changes in the volumes of labor input, is mainly connected with the change in the number of the employed, whose increase, in its turn, is in general determined by the growth of the share of population capable for work in the total number of population (the figure was 57.9% in 2000, and 63.4% in 2006). At the same time the share of economically active population in the number of those capable for work in contrast decreased from 84.2% in 2000 to 82.1% in 2006 the fact that against the background of slightly growing level of employment led to the decrease in the input of growth Preliminary estimation is made for 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 renovation Method is considered in detail in the book by IET Factors of Economic Growth, Scientific work series, No70, IET, oscow, 2003, 390p., www.iet.ru.

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