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The composite index of cargo transportation rates is expected to slow down early in 2006, its growth being expected to be 2.7% in January 2006, while 0.4% in March of the same year. This index is therefore expected to grow by 5.3% in the first three months of as compared to December 2005. The similar behavior is expected from the index of motor vehicle cargo transportation rates and that of pipeline transportation rate, though the latter is expected to grow faster than the former in January 2006. The index of motor vehicle cargo transportation rates is expected to amount to 4.4%, which is below the composite index, while the pipeline transportation rate index is expected to grow by 7.5%.

Movement of prices of various types of raw materials in the world market This section provides the estimates of the average monthly values of Brent oil prices (US dollars per barrel), aluminum (US dollars per ton), gold (US dollars per ounce), copper (US dollars per ton) and nickel (US dollars per ton) in the 1Q06 obtained on the basis of times series models assessed according to the IMFs data for the time frame between January 1993 and October 2005.

The Institute for the Economy in Transition (www.iet.ru) Bulletin of model analysis of short-term forecasts of socio-economic indicators in the Russian Federation, December Table Predictive values of prices of natural resources Month Predictive values according to ARIMA models January 2006 61.08 1981 513.3 12306 February 2006 61.67 1968 506.0 12432 March 2006 60.68 1949 506.6 13009 Growth rates against the corresponding month in 2005 (%) January 2006 37.9 7.9 21.1 -15.5 32.February 2006 37.0 4.6 19.5 -19.4 26.March 2006 14.5 -1.9 16.8 -19.9 20.For reference: actual values in the corresponding period of January 2005 44.28 1836 424.0 14564 February 2005 45.03 1883 423.4 15416 March 2005 53.00 1988 433.9 16240 Note: price series of oil, nickel, gold, copper and aluminum belong to the DS time series in the time frame between January 1993 and October 2005.

As illustrated ( in Table 8 ), prices of oil, gold, nickel and copper in the period between January and March 2006 are expected to exceed on average those of the corresponding period of the previous year, while the predictive aluminum prices are predicted nearly equal to those in the corresponding period of the previous year, whereas nickel prices are expected to be significantly lower the corresponding level of the previous year. Besides, the average oil prices are expected to amount to nearly 61 US dollars per barrel, which is by an average of 30% above the corresponding level of the previous year. Aluminum prices are forecasted to be nearly at the level of 1,965 US dollars per ton, their forecast average growth is expected to be nearly 3.5% as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. Nickel and copper prices are expected to average 12,580 and 4,125 US dollars per ton respectively. The average growth gold and copper prices is expected to account for nearly 19% and 26.5% respectively, while the average nickel price is expected to fall by nearly 28% as opposed to the corresponding level of the previous year.

Monetary indicators Prospective values of the monetary base (cash in circulation and credit organizations required reserve balances with the RF Central Bank) and 2 in the period between January and March 2006 were calculated on the basis of times series models of the corresponding indicators calculated by the RF Central Bank13 for the time frame between October 1998 and 2005. Listed in Table 9 are predictive values and actual values of these indicators over the corresponding period in the previous year. It should be noted that by virtue of that the monetary base is a tool used by the RF Central Bank to pursue its policy, its forecast relying upon the times series models is to a certain extent conditional, because prospective values of this indicator are determined on the basis of the decisions made by the RF Central Bank rather than the internal peculiarities of the series.

The data on a particular month are listed in accordance with the RF Central Banks methodology as of the beginning of the next month.

The Institute for the Economy in Transition (www.iet.ru) ton) ton) ounce) dollars per ton) Gold (US Nickel (US Aluminum dollars per dollars per dollars per per barrel) (US dollars Copper (US Brent oil (US Bulletin of model analysis of short-term forecasts of socio-economic indicators in the Russian Federation, December Table M2 and monetary base forecast Period Monetary base MJanuary 2006 2133.9 -6.1 5736.4 -3.February 2006 2154.8 1.0 5886.5 2.March 2006 2166.6 0.5 6065.5 3.For reference: actual values in the corresponding period of 2004-(growth against the preceding month, %) January 2005 -7.9 -4.February 2005 1.4 2.March 2005 2.8 3.8,% Note: all time series of monetary indicators were classified as stationary in first-order differences with a market seasonal factor for the time frame between October 1998 and 2005.

Since these indicators are exposed to a heavy seasonal factor, the monetary base is expected to fall by 6.1% and M2 by 3.8% in January 2006, which corresponds to a regular seasonal decline in January. M2 is forecasted to grow by 2.6% in February and 3% in March 2006, while the monetary base is expected to grow as well but at a slower rate, its average monthly growth is expected to be 0.8% in the period in question.

RF gold and foreign exchange reserves This section provides statistical assessment data on prospective values of the RF gold and foreign exchange reserves14, obtained on the basis of assessment of the time series model of the RF gold and foreign exchange reserves according to the RF Central Banks data for the time frame between October 1998 and November 2005. This indicator is forecasted without taking into account reduction in the RF gold and foreign exchange reserves due to the repayment of Russias foreign debt, which may lead to the fact that the volume of the RF gold and foreign exchange reserves may be overvalued with regard to the months of the foreign debt repayment (or undervalued otherwise) as compared to the actual values.

The data on the volume of the RF gold and foreign exchange reserves are listed as of the first date of the next month.

The Institute for the Economy in Transition (www.iet.ru) month, % month, % billion RUR billion RUR the preceding the preceding growth against growth against Bulletin of model analysis of short-term forecasts of socio-economic indicators in the Russian Federation, December Table RF gold and foreign exchange reserves forecast Period Predictive values according to ARIMA models growth against the corresponding billion US dollars month in 2005, % January 170.6 1.February 182.1 6.March 193.8 6.For reference: actual values for the corresponding months in growth against the corresponding billion US dollars month in 2004, % January 124.9 0.February 134.2 7.March 137.4 2.Note: the RF gold and foreign exchange reserves series was identified as difference time stationary for the time frame between October 1998 and November 2005.

The RF gold and foreign exchange reserves are expected to outsize 170 bln US dollars at the end of January 2006 due to their continuous growth. In February and at the end of March 2006, the RF gold and foreign exchange reserves are expected to total nearly 182 and over 190 bln US dollars respectively.

Foreign exchange rates Model calculations of prospective values of the foreign exchange rate (RUR per US dollar) were made on the basis of assessment of the time series models of the corresponding indicators quoted by the RF Central Bank on the last date of the month over the period between October 1998 and December 2005. The predictive values of the USD/EURO exchange rate were calculated on the basis of the IMFs data as of the last date of the month in the period between January 1999 and December 200515.

Table RUR/USD and USD/EUR exchange rates forecast Period Predictive values of RUR/USD Predictive values of USD/EUR exchange rate (RUR per US exchange rate (US dollar per dollar) according to ARIMA Euro) according to ARIMA models models January 28.75 1.February 29.32 1.March 29.37 1.For reference: actual values in the corresponding months 2004-January 28.11 1.February 27.77 1.March 27.89 1. The Bulletin includes the IMFs data for the period between January 1999 and October 2004. The data on October and December 2005 were obtained from the foreign exchange rate statistics website www.oanda.com.

The Institute for the Economy in Transition (www.iet.ru) Bulletin of model analysis of short-term forecasts of socio-economic indicators in the Russian Federation, December Note: the series under review were identified as the first-order integrated time series with a seasonal factor within the corresponding time frames.

Table 11 provides forecasts of the RUR/USD and USD/EUR exchange rates in 1Q06, as well as actual values of these indicators in the corresponding period in 2005. The RUR/USD exchange rate is forecasted to vary insignificantly at the level of 29.15 rubles per US dollar. In January 2006, this level is expected to be lower, while in February and March it is expected to grow reaching 29.3 rubles per US dollar. In 2005, the RUR/USD exchange rate varied nearly a lower level of 27 rubles per US dollar. The loosing Euro against the USD is expected to gain, the USD/EUR exchange rate is forecasted to grow reaching 1.2 US dollars per Euro as early as in January 2006, and 1.23 in March 2006.

Living standard indicators This section (see Table 12) presents predictive values of the real wages and real disposable cash income indicators obtained on the basis of times series models of the corresponding indicators calculated by the FSSS for the time frame between January 1999 and October 2005. These indicators depends to a certain degree upon centralized decisions on wage increase for budget-funded workers, as well as decisions on increase of pensions, scholarships and benefits, which involves certain adjustments to the movement of the indicators under review.

Consequently, the prospective values of real wages and real disposable cash income indicators calculated on the basis of the series, the latest of which are considerably higher or lower because of such an increase, may differ largely from those realized in practice.

Table Living standard indicators forecast Period Real disposable cash Real wages incomes Predictive values according to ARIMA models (in terms of percentage of the corresponding period in 2005) January 2006 113.56 116.February 2006 111.46 107.March 2006 110.55 110.For reference: actual values in the corresponding period in 2004-(in terms of percentage of the corresponding month in 2004) January 2005 90.03 89.February 2005 106.34 105.March 2005 112.26 110.Note: The real money income and real wages series in relation to the corresponding period of the previous year were used for the calculation. Both series were classified as difference stationary processes in the time frame under review. The disposable cash income series was studied in basic form with January 1999 accepted as the basic period. This series belongs to the trend stationary time series.

The estimates listed in Table 12 predict growth in living standards of the population in the period between January and March 2006 as opposed to the corresponding level of the previous year. The predictive average growth in real monetary income and real disposable cash income is forecasted to be about 11.85% as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. The predictive average growth in real wages is expected to be about 12.6% as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

The Institute for the Economy in Transition (www.iet.ru) Bulletin of model analysis of short-term forecasts of socio-economic indicators in the Russian Federation, December Economically active population and total unemployment indicators Prospective values of the economically active population and total unemployment indicators were calculated with the help of the time series models assessed for the time frame between October 1998 and October 2005 on the basis of the FSSSs monthly data16. The total unemployment indicator was also calculated on the basis of the models using the results of the conjuncture polls17.

It should be noted that logical discrepancies18 that may be found in the forecasts of total employment and total unemployment which are supposed to be equal in total to the value of the economically active population indicator, may be caused by the fact that every series is forecasted separately rather than as the difference between the predictive values of economically active population and other indicator.

Table Predictive values of total economically active population and total unemployment Total economically Total unemployment Total unemployment (CP) active population (ARIMA) (ARIMA) Month January 2006 67.7 1.0 5.7 -6.2 8.4 5.7 -6.6 8.February 2006 67.6 1.0 5.7 -4.8 8.4 5.7 -6.6 8.March 2006 67.6 0.4 5.6 -3.1 8.3 5.8 0.0 8.For reference: actual value over the corresponding periods in 2004-2005 (million persons) January 2005 67.0 6.February 2005 66.9 6.March 2005 67.3 5.Note: the economically active population indicator series is a trend stationary time series within the time frame between October 1998 and October 2005. The total unemployment indicator series is a first-order integrated time series. Both indicators includes a seasonal component.

The indicator was calculated as of the end of the month, in accordance with the methodology of The International Labor Organization (ILO).

The model was assessed for the time frame between January 1999 and October 2005.

For example, simultaneous reduction of both economically active population and total unemployment can be considered such a discrepancy. It should be noted, however, that such a situation is possible in principle, provided that the number of economically active population is reduced in strength.

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