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The structural shifts in industry occurred at the background of the outpacing rates of growth in manufacturing industries in comparison with extractive sector, which had been a characteristic feature of the recovery growth in the Russian economy. Although the ratio between the rates of growth across industries has rather significantly fluctuated over the last 5 years, on the whole it has illustrated a gradual shift from the growth based on the utilization of the factors of natural and raw materials capacities, predominantly oriented towards the external market to the formation of resources enabling the development of the domestic market. In 2005, when the rates of growth in industry were observed to be at 104.0 per cent, for extractive industries this indicator made 101/3 per cent, and for manufacturing industries 105.7 per cent. The beginning of 2006 was characterized by the waning dynamics of extractive and manufacturing industries occurring at the backdrop of accelerating rates of growth in production and distribution of electrical power, natural gas, and water, what was determined by the extreme climate specifics of the winter of this year. The increase in the generation of electrical power registered in January and February of 2006 made 6.1 per cent as compared with 0.8 per cent observed in the respective period of the preceding year. The share of electrical power generated by thermal electrical power plants in the total amount of generated electrical power increased from 68.8 per cent registered in January and February of 2005 to 71.8 per cent in January and February of 2006, whereas the values of these indicators pertaining to water power plants and nuclear power plants declined from 15.9 per cent to 13.1 per cent and from 15.3 per cent to 15.1 per cent respectively. The increase in the generation of electrical power by thermal electrical power plants made 10.6 per cent. The growth in the extraction of coal used for electrical power generation grew by 11.6 per cent as compared with 0.per cent registered in January and February of 2005, whereas the output of natural gas and furnace fuel grew by 3.2 per cent in comparison with 0.7 per cent and by 7.7 per cent in comparison with 5.2 per cent respectively.

As concerns the manufacturing industries, there was observed a decline in the rates of growth down to 101.0 per cent in comparison with the figures registered in January and February of 2005, which was initiated by the moderate dynamics of extraction of oil (101.6 per cent as compared with 1103.per cent) and a decline in the extraction of metal ores by 1.2 per cent.

The enhancing business activity across manufacturing industries observed in February failed to compensate for the sharp decline in production registered in January, which was caused by the calendar specifics. The increase in the output of manufacturing industries made 1.8 per cent in comparison with 4.2 per cent and 9.6 per cent observed in January through February of 2005 and 2004 respectively.

% 8,2,5 2,1,9 1,1,0,I Q II Q III Q IV Q I Q II Q III Q IV Q January February 2004 2005 Indices of indus trial output:

Extraction of m ineral res ources Manufacturing indus tries Production of electrical power, natural gas, and water Figure 2. Changes in the rates of industrial output as broken down by the types of production in through 2006, in per cent of the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year.

In the situation of growing investment demand, the positions of mechanical engineering in the structure of the Russian economy at large looked to be insufficiently favorable in the near outlook. First, imports of machinery and equipment grew at the rates outpacing the dynamics demonstrated by domestic mechanical engineering. The increasing role played by imports of machinery and equipment was determined by both the insufficient scale of domestic production and the low competitive power of many types of technical equipment as concerned the price quality ratio. Second, the maintenance of rather high rates of growth in the output of machinery and equipment was ensured primarily at the expense of expanding demand for mechanical equipment and general purpose equipment. Third, in the situation, where the proceeds of the economy from exports increased, there was observed the shrinking of investment demand for special purpose equipment on the part of fuel, energy, and metallurgical industries, whereas manufacturers of machinery and equipment needed less products of machine tool industry. In January and February of 2006 the production of machinery and equipment was registered to decline by 25.6 per cent in comparison with the figures observed in the respective period of the preceding year. One of the factors behind this decline was the sharp shrinking of demand for mechanical equipment including the energy equipment.

In January and February of 2006, the output of transport vehicles and equipment increased by 9.per cent in comparison with 2.0 per cent registered in the respective period of the preceding year. The production of cars in January and February of 2006 grew by 3.7 per cent as compared with a 7.9 per cent decline observed in the respective period of the last year. In the situation of low competitive power of domestically manufactured motor vehicles there was registered a growth in demand for foreign vehicles, both imported and manufactured in the territory of Russia. At joint ventures, the production of motor vehicles observed in January through February of 2006 increased almost 1.3 times in comparison with the figures registered in January and February of 2005.

In the beginning of this year, the production of consumer goods was characterized by moderate rates of growth. An analysis of development of industry demonstrated the lack of significant qualitative changes in technology and structure of production of consumer goods, what did not permit to maintain high rates of growth over a long period of time. The limited material and production base on the one hand, and the falling competitive power of domestic goods in comparison with imports at the existing exchange rate values on the other hand resulted in the expansion of the niches for goods produced abroad. At the end of 2005, the share of domestically manufactured goods in the structure of commodity resources of retail trade made 55 per cent in comparison with 57 per cent registered in 2004. The share of imports in the volume of commodity resources of food products grew from 35 per cent observed in the 1st quarter of 2005 to 37.0 per cent registered in the 4th quarter of the same year.

In this connection, the decline in the rates of growth in production of food products from 3.1 per cent observed in January and February of 2005 to 0.5 per cent in the respective period of this year is a ground for rising concerns.

O. I. Izryadnova The IET Business Surveys in March Despite pessimism reflected by the official data the government agencies receive from the mandatory reporting, our surveys on heads of industrial enterprises allow a more optimistic picture. The continuous rise of effective demand enables producers to maintain the growing output. As a result, Russian industrial sector once again witnesses the prevalence of enterprises that are satisfied with their sales volumes. Forecasts of change in demand and output likewise maintain a great optimism.

According to the RF Ministry for Economic Development and Trade data, in February 2006 Russias GDP soared by 3.5% vs. the respective month of the prior year, while industrial output rose by 1%. These indicators appear to be sufficiently lower than the respective ones reported a year ago, when GDP rose by 5.6% and industrial output by 4.1% vs. the respective period of 2004. By results of the first two months of 2006 Russias GDP grew by 4.1%, while industrial output by 2.7%. Last year, the indicators in question accounted for 5.0 and 2.9%, respectively. The Ministry report argues that, Seasonality excluded, between January and February GDP was sliding at the average monthly rate of 0.6%.

Despite pessimism of the official data the government agencies receive from the mandatory reporting, our surveys on heads of industrial enterprises allow a more optimistic picture. This allows ignorance of the natural and climatic factor that is usually employed for explaining particularities of the national industrial development. Let us note that this factor was would be traditionally used to justify for problems facing solely the development of the agrarian and the housing and communal sector.

First, such a crucial and unavailable to the official reporting economic indicator as effective demand has demonstrated a stable growth since the start of the year against the background formed by such a critical conditions that it has been declining in late 2005 both according to the original data and after being cleared from the seasonal and random components. Its March 2006 balance of its change (prior to the seasonality clearing) accounted for +20 p.p., which became the second top result ever noted over the whole period of the post-default growth. It was only in March 2005 that sales showed a more intense growth post-1998 (+25 p.p.). Now demand growth in all the sectors, except, may be, the light industry that reported zero balance (i.e. its reports on growth in sales are counterbalanced by those on their decline).

The assessments of demand on the scale Above norm below norm evidence the restoration of volumes of sales necessary for enterprises. In March, the proportion of normal demand assessments exceeded 50%, which means that enterprises satisfied with their sales once again dominated the industrial sector. The proportion of those dissatisfied with their sales slid to 45%. The March correlation in this respect appeared to be the best since the start of 2006. The dissatisfaction with demand prevails on the sectoral level only in the machine-engineering (below norm 52%), forestry (60%) and light (67%) industries.

Second, the dynamics of output likewise displayed impressive results. Not yet cleared from seasonality, the respective balance (growth rate)- like demand -proved to be the second best result since early 1999. It was only in March 2005 that the surveys registered yet greater growth rates of output. Once cleared from seasonality, the results, of course, adjusted the value of optimism, but kept its rate greater than in the prior months. In other words, enterprise heads report on a fairly decent rise in output based which is no less important- on equally decent growth in demand. While in the 1st quarter 2006 as many as 67% of enterprises retained their dynamics of output to match the dynamics of demand, in the 4th quarter 2005 only 65% of produced had managed to do that.

Third, 74% of enterprises enjoy a normal availability of borrowed capital, which is the peak rate of the indicator registered yet in the 2nd quarter 2005. In sectoral terms, the indicator fluctuates between 96% (electricity) and 87% (non ferrous metallurgy) to 64% (food processing) and 62% (light industry).

As concerns negative signals, they are represented solely by the change in assessments of reserves of prefabricated produce. In March, the proportion of normal assessments sank to 55%, while the proportion of enterprises with excessive stock rose to 31%, which has formed the worst result over the last seven months. However, nothing threats the prevalence in the industrial sector of enterprises with normal reserves of finished goods, and the noted deterioration of the assessments is most likely can be explained by forthcoming national May holidays.

The deceleration of the producer price rise continued in March. The balance (intensity of the rise) dropped (without clearing from seasonality) to 19 p.p. after 26 p.p. reported in January. In March, the respective balance made up 22 p.p. The greatest price rise rates are now displayed by the sector for chemicals and petrochemicals (+32 p.p.), food processing (+26 p.p.) and machine engineering (+p.p.).

Forecasts of changes in demand continue to improve, with the March values of the respective balances by all the indicators (original, cleared from seasonality and cleared from seasonality and random factors) either hitting the historic peaks, or being close to them. All the sectors, except for electricity, still expect growth in demand, while it can become most intense in the ferrous metallurgy, construction and food-processing industries.

Enterprises have adjusted their production plans on the eve of the May holidays the proportion of intentions to boost output plunged by 4 p.p. and currently accounts for 55% (the industrial sector is still dominated by enterprises keen to boost their output). However, the clearing from seasonality showed maintenance of a minimum (1-2 p.p.) rise in optimism. The decline in optimism of production plans on the sectoral level occurred only in the ferrous metallurgy, chemicals, petrochemicals and light industry.

S. Tsukhlo A military and economic analysis of the development of the RF aircraft industry The study focuses on the military and economic aspects of the development of the military and civil aircraft industries as observed in the recent past, as well as the possible shifts in the priorities of their further development. The urgency of these aspects of the problem under review is determined by the decision of the RF leadership to create a joint aircraft holding and its intentions to bolster activity of this holding. Besides, in the Russian Federation there has been reconstituted the Military and Industrial Commission (MIC). The paper presents the data on the dynamics and the current situation regarding the equipment of Russian Armed Forces with aircraft and helicopters, which, although based on foreign publications, have been adjusted on the basis of information collected from domestic sources.

Besides, in the study there are made certain military and technical considerations confirming the rationality of not only higher degree of unification of aircraft designed for different purposes, but also the feasibility of putting the priority on the civil aviation.

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