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Dynamic development of construction defined acceleration of industrial production on wood processing and wooden goods production up to 119.0% in January-February 2008 against 111.2% in the corresponding period of the previous year. It should be noted that positive dynamics of construction materials sustaining high level of fixed assets deterioration and facilities load is becoming a limitation factor in this complex. In January-February 2008 a reduction in cement production by 0.5% was observed the output growth in February 2007 being 141%.

Chemistry complex is the basis for the Russian economy. By the volume of trade production its proportion comprises 5.5%, enterprises of complexes giving 5.4% of the all-Russian amount of earnings in foreign currency. In January-February 2008 increase in chemistry production was 3.3%, production of rubber and plastic goods growing by 28.4%. The capacity of the internal market being high, the main factors limiting chemistry complex functioning are high extent of equipment deterioration and outdated technologies; anticipating prices and tariffs for the production of natural monopolies growth rates; problems with supply of the main kinds of raw materials, especially hydrocarbons, to the industrys enterprises; scantiness of investment resources.

Positive trends of development sustain in production of consumer goods. However lack of serious quality changes in technology and structure of consumer goods production foes not allow maintaining high growth rates for a long time. The share of domestically produced goods in retail trade resources in 2007 reduced down to 53% as compared with 55% in 2005 and 59% in 2002. On the one hand, inconsistency of material and technical bas and labor qualification to market requirements defined the decrease in competitive ability of the domestic goods as compared with import, on the other hand, existing currency exchange rates contributed into broadening of niches for import goods.

Competitive ability of domestic foodstuffs producers is supported by active investment policy and existing mechanism of import quotes for some kind of goods. However the potential created was insufficient to sustain a steady trend for production, labor efficiency and productivity growth. In 2005-2007 some acceleration of foodstuffs productions development was observed. Growth index in 2007 was equal to 106.1% against 105.4% in 2006. In January-February 2008 foodstuffs production index was 106.3% as compared with 117.4% in the corresponding period of the previous year. Reserved growth of foodstuffs production was accounted for by deceleration in vegetable and animal oils production by 15.1 p.p. as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year, stabilization of dairies production and reduction in the volume of potatoes, fruit and vegetables processing and preserving by 12%. Milk production increasing in agriculture companies which are main suppliers of milk for processing by 3.1%, the dynamics of the production was partly influenced by a decrease in consumers demand as a result of a sharp increase in prices for dairies in September 2007. Similar situation was observed in fat-and-oil sector, in which because of anticipating growth of prices for seeds used for oil production as compared with vegetable oils the problems with raw materials purchase and with finished goods sale arose.

over January- February 2008 growth index of sewing and clothing industry was 104.9%, leather, leather goods and footwear production 108.0%, against correspondingly, 111.6% and 119.6% in the similar period of 2007.

High growth rates of consumers demand were suported by the growth in populations real disposable incomes, real wages growing anticipatingly, as well as by maintenance of high banking activity at the market of consumer crediting. Increase in real disposable incomes was 11.2% to the level of January-February 2007, and of real wages 13.3%.

In January 2008 real populations incomes due to the leap of inflation and decrease in economic activity in January, on the one hand, and massive cash payments to the population in December, on the other hand, reduced nearly by half as compared with December 2007. In February restoration of real incomes was observed they went up by 19.6% as compared with January. Similar dynamics of populations incomes changes was observed at the beginning of 2007. In February 2008 average populations incomes per capita per month were RUR 12942, whereas in December RUR 19639. In January 2008 a considerable flow-out of depositors means took place, it was equal to RUR 33 bln (0.6%) throughout the whole banking system, which can be compared only with July 2004 (0.7%).

Nominal wages over the first two months of the current year increased as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year by 27.6%. At the same time its level in January was below December level by nearly 20%, and in February wages increased only by 3% as compared with January. According to the estimation of the Federal State Statistics Service, in February the level of nominal accrued wages per one employee was RUR 15214, and in December 2007 RUR 18591. Similar situation was also observed in 2007, though o 2007 ., restoration growth of wages was not observed in February 2007.

At the beginning of 2007 character and extent of averages wages differentiation by branches of industry sustained. The labor force cost the least in agriculture, education and health care, the most in extractive industries and financial activity.

Over two months of 2008 average volume of accrued pensions went u by one third in nominal terms, ratio between the average pension and average monthly wages improving slightly as a result: in 2007 it was equal to 22.8% and in February 2008 it went up to 26% Which approximately corresponds to the ratio that was characteristic for 2006. Regular indexation of pensions insurance part (by 7.5%) is to occur in April 2008 And after indexation average accrues pension will be According to the data of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, RUR 4115.

At the beginning of 2008 prices for consumer goods and services grew faster than in January-February 2007. Consumer prices index in February 2008 to the level of December 2007 was 103.5%, as compared with 102.8% in February 2007. It should be noted that anticipating growth was observed for foodstuffs and tariffs for compulsory services. Prices for goods and services included in the subsistence minimum basket increased at fastest. In February 2008 cost of goods and services purchased by Russias population was 0.9% higher than in January with regard to goods, and by 0.5% - with regard to services.

Business Survey in March S. Tsukhlo First data on situation in the Russian industry in March are not optimistic. Maintenance of though low but inadequate output growth rates in the environment of demand growth slow-down leads to excessive increase in finished goods stocks and in the near outlook can result in the decrease of output growth intensity. Possibility of further slow-down of output starts to emerge in enterprises plans. Price forecasts of enterprises do not give grounds to hope for inflation slow-down before long.

According to the data of official statistics, industrial production continued to grow in January-February.

According to the calculations of the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-term Forecasting, average daily output of goods increased by 0.3% in February as compared with January, and on average over the first two months of the year by 0.4% (seasonality excluded). In comparison with January-February there were by 6% more goods produced.

In March demand for industrial goods continued to grow, sales growth rates, however, reducing as compared with February by 4 per cent, and as compared with Match 2007 by 18 p.p. In other words, demand growth has evidently slowed down. As a result March growth rated turned to be the lowest over the last months (from February 2006).

CHANGES IN SOLVENT DEMAND, SEASONALITY EXCLUDED (BALANCE=%GROWTH-%FALL) % EXPECTED -REAL ----1/98 1/99 1/00 1/01 1/02 1/03 1/04 1/05 1/06 1/07 1/However low demand growth rates for products are becoming habitual for enterprises. This is illustrated by the dynamics of demand volumes estimations. In March proportion of normal estimations stopped to fall and stopped at the level of 63%. Such all-industry trend was the result of the increase in satisfaction with sales in chemistry and petrochemistry (up to 74%), in machine-building (60%), wood processing complex (72%) and light industry (49%).

DYNAMICS OF MAIN ESTIMATIONS OF SOLVENT DEMAND % BELOW THE NORM NORMAL 1/94 1/96 1/98 1/00 1/02 1/04 1/06 1/1/95 1/97 1/99 1/01 1/03 1/05 1/Slow-down of demand growth rats does not enable enterprises to increase output. According to the estimations of the enterprises executives output growth rate in the industry has stabilized over the last four months at the level of 17-19 p.p. (seasonality excluded). Last March output growth intensity was 28 p.p. The highest growth rates at the moment are observed for fuel, machine-building and chemistry industries, as well as construction.

CHANGES IN PRODUCTION OUTPUT, SEASONALITY % EXCLUDED (BALNCE=%INCREASE-%DECREASE) EXPECTED REAL --1/98 1/99 1/00 1/01 1/02 1/03 1/04 1/05 1/06 1/07 1/Obvious and continuous demand growth slow-down has resulted in considerable negative independence of output dynamics from the sales dynamics, situation, when enterprises are behind demand dynamics can be referred to as positive independence. In other words, enterprises started to produce more than they can sell.

In March the proportion of producers, at whose enterprises output excels demand reached 28% - the figure being uncharacteristic for recent years. Reverse ratio demand excelling output was observed at 7.4%.

This figure is nearly absolute minimum for the index since 1998 crisis (only in spring 2006 it decreased down to 6.6-6.2%). One more evidence for negative independence is the estimation of finished goods stocks. In March balance of these estimations (above-below the norm) reached +13 p.p, which is the maximum (that is the worst figure) for the last two years. Industry has accumulated unusually many finished goods at stocks with regard to the current demand in last two months and does not see real prospects to sell these stocks in the forthcoming months.

BALANCES OF FINISHED GOODS STOCKS ESTIMATIONS % (BALANCE = %ABOVE -- %BELOW NORM) NORMAL BALANCE OF ESTIMATIONS --1/1993 1/1995 1/1997 1/1999 1/2001 1/2003 1/2005 1/In the environment of increased inflation industrial enterprises have enough grounds to raise disbursing prices. In March balance of real changes (growth rate) of price did not change, which had been characteristic for the recent years, but increased by all indicators (initial, seasonality excluded, occasional fluctuations excluded). The growth occurred due to metallurgy, wood processing complex, light and foodstuffs industries.

CHANGES IN DISBURSING PRICES, SEASONALITY % EXCLUDED (BALANCE=%INCREASE- %DECREASE) PRICES: FORECAST PRICES: REAL -1/93 1/95 1/97 1/99 1/01 1/03 1/05 1/CREDITS AVAILABILITY CHARACTERISTICS NORMAL CREDITS AVAILABILITY % AVAILABILITY BELOW THE NORM 1/00 1/01 1/02 1/03 1/04 1/05 1/06 1/07 1/ Problems of bank sector also reflect on the industry. Monitoring of credits availability demonstrated the decrease in the share of normal estimations on the whole throughout the industry in 1st quarter 2008 down to 71%, which is the worst figure for the last eight quarters. The biggest losses were characteristic for wood processing complex (normal credits availability has decreased by 22 p.p.), metallurgy (decrease of 13 p.p.), light industry (12 p.p.), and machine building (11 p.p.) Forecasts for changes in demand, though remaining at the level of absolute minimum for the whole period of the monitoring for the second month in the row, seem to give little chance to become true. There are two reasons for hat. First, industrial plans of enterprises are becoming less optimistic. In March growth rates of the expected changes in output decreased y one more point and total decrease as compared with January was equal to 3 points (seasonality excluded). It was the plans of ferrous metallurgy, chemistry, petrochemistry, construction and foodstuffs industry that suffered the biggest negative correction. Second, high (with regard to the recent time) level of finished goods at stocks will force enterprises to use accumulated stocks first to satisfy demand.

Price forecasts of enterprises do not give grounds for hopes for inflation slow-down. Decrease in inflation inclination that dawned in February came to a stop. March forecasts for changes in prices reached maximum since the beginning of 2005. Prices growth slow-down in forthcoming months is possible only in chemistry, petrochemistry and machine building.

Foreign Trade N. Volovik The first month of 2008 was characterized by record-breaking index of export supplies growth rates, which were accounted for by a considerable growth of prices for the main goods of Russian export. Positive foreign trade balance also set a new historical record.

In order to stimulate production development in the territory of Russia import duty rates for plasma and liquid crystals display panels.

In order to limit growth of internal prices, which are rising continuously following the world ones, customs duties for chemical fertilizers to countries that are not members of Customs Union are implemented.

In January 2008 Russias foreign trade turnover, calculated on the basis of balance-of-payments methodology, increased up to USD 49.8 bln, which is by 49.6% more than the figure of January 2007. This is the highest growth in year terms over the last 17 years.

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