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- - RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES REAL ECONOMY SECTOR: TRENDS AND FACTORS O.Izryadnova In January-February 2009 the internal market was considerably influenced by both the reduction of the investments in fixed assets by 14.7% as compared with the level of the previous year and the decrease in the industrial production by 14.6%. The financial situation of the real sector has been becoming worse, which has been observed since October 2008. High degree of enterprises dependence on the banking financing, absence of own liquid funds at the enterprises, shortage of the credit resources have resulted in the organizations being unable to make payments to counteragents on time and to full extent, the same applies to payments of wages, loans and credits. The arrears of wages made RUR 8087 million as on March 1, 2009, having increased by 16.1% as compared with February 1, 2009. The biggest part of arrears is caused by the shortage of own funds at the enterprises.

In January-February of the current year the macroeconomic situation was defined by the influence of trends and factors formed in the 4th quarter 2008.

Over January-February 2009 the internal market was considerably influenced by the reduction of the investments in fixed assets by 14.7% of the level of the corresponding period of the previous year, of the industrial production by 14.6%, of workload in construction by 18.8%, by freight turnover by 18.2%, and of the railway transportation by 28.7%.

Consumer demand still demonstrates the positive dynamics, although the retail trade turnover as compared with January-February 2008 increased by only 0.3%, the volume of the paid services rendered to the population decreasing by 0.2%. The inflation at the consumer market reached 3.5% in February 2009, the prices for foodstuffs growing by 3.3%, for non-food goods by 2.3% and for paid services by 7.8%. In January-February of the current year the slackening dynamics of the consumer market was defined by the decrease in the real disposable monetary incomes of the population by 7.2% as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.

The increase in real wages was equal to 1.0% as compared with January-February 2008, but the situation was complicated by the growth of wages arrears started in October 2008, which was equal to RUR 8087 million on March 1, 2009 (growth over March being 16.7%).

The biggest part of the arrears (RUR 7551 million, or 93.4% of the total sum of the arrears) is accounted for by the arrears because of the lack of own funds.

The combination of these factors with the increase in the tension at the labor market and the increase in the total number of the unemployed will define the changes in social parameters of the economic development in the forthcoming months. According to the methodology of the International Labor Organization over two months of the current year the unemployment has gone up by 10.3% up to 6.4 million of people or 8.5% of the economically active population of the country. The number of the officially registered unemployed in February 2009 increased by 17.8% as compared with the preceding month and made 2.million of people. As compared with the corresponding month of 2008 in February 2009 the tension coefficient (he number of unemployed citizens registered in the state employment services per one vacant position) increased from 1.5 to 2.7.

In January-February 2009 the financial situation of the real economy sector continued to worsen the trend that has been observed since October 2008. The drop in the world AND FACTORS REAL ECONOMY SECTOR: TRENDS and internal prices of producers, increase in credit interest rates in the environment of the high dependence of the extractive and processing industries upon the export resulted in slow-down of the production growth rates and the sharp decrease in the enterprises profits and profitability. On the whole over the economy the balanced financial result was equal to 69.6% of the figures of 2007. In the 4th quarter the losses in the minerals extraction, processing industries, trade and transportation considerably exceeded the amount of profit which had an exceptionally negative result on the figures of the solvency and financial stability of the enterprises.

Table BALANCED FINANCIAL RESULT OF THE ORGANIZATION ACTIVITIES IN 2008, AS RUR BILLION Quarters By kinds of economic activity I II III IV Total 3998.6 1260 1979.9 1200.9 -442.Minerals extraction 872.5 250.9 381.6 304.2 -64.Fossil fuels extraction 84.6 43.8 55.8 54.6 -69.Processing industries 1693.7 451.3 775.2 583 -115.Electricity, gas and water production and 98.6 75.7 -3.4 -41.9 68.distribution Construction 130.4 14.1 37.9 37.4 Wholesale and retail trade 567.8 296.2 401.3 245.1 -374.Transportation 286.8 100.9 97.3 97.3 -Communication 286.7 66.3 99.9 90.4 30.Operations with real estate, rent and services 292.8 97.1 131.1 19.9 44.rendering Source: Federal State Statistics Service The financial crisis has most significantly affected the productions oriented primarily on the internal market. It was the drop in the industrial production index of 7.7% in the 4th quarter 2008 that had the dominating influence on the results of the financial activity of the processing industries the prices of the producers growing by 1.9% on the whole over the year. In the minerals extraction, in contrast, the reduction of profit was accounted for by the decrease in prices by 38.4% on the whole over 2008 and stabilization of the production at the level of the previous year.

Table PROFITABILITY OF SOLD GOODS, PRODUCTION, SERVICES AND ORGANIZATIONS ASSETS BY KINDS OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES, AS PERCENTAGE Profitability of sold goods, of assets products, services 2007 2008 2007 Total 14.3 14.0 10.5 5.minerals extraction 31.5 27.6 16.3 12.fossil fuels extraction 31.1 24.7 16.5 12.processing industries 18.4 17.6 14.3 11.electricity, gas and water production and distribution 5.3 4.7 3.3 1.construction 6.3 7.0 4.4 3.wholesale and retail trade 9.5 11.7 8.6 4.transportation and communication 16.3 13.7 6.8 5.operations with the real estate, rent, services rendering 11.5 12.0 12.8 3.Source: Federal State Statistics Service - - RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES On the whole throughout the economy the profitability of the sold goods in 2008 made 14.0% and decrease by nearly all kinds of economic activities, and the profitability of assets decreased down to 5.8%.

During January-February 2009 the negative trends in the financial situation of the real economy sector aggravated. High extent of enterprises dependence on the loaned funds, absence of own liquid funds at the enterprises, credibility gap between the enterprises and banks resulted in the enterprises being unable to make payments to counteragents, to pay wages, for loans and credit in due time and to full extent. The decrease in the export prices and the demand for raw materials, decrease in real monetary mass, increase in credit rates and general unavailability of credits resulted in the reduction of the production and the decrease in the balanced financial result. In January 2009 according to the preliminary data the losses on the whole throughout the economy were equal to RUR 211.7 billion. The situation was not affected by the increase in producers prices by 2.8% in February 2009 as compared with January of the current year and by 1% as compared with December 2008.

The trend for the decrease in the volumes of minerals extraction that was observed throughout the previous year continued to operate at the beginning of 2009. In JanuaryFebruary of the current year the production decreased by 4.5%as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year, oil production decreasing by 2.2% and gas production by 12.2%. The factors of the exhaustion of the developed fields and insufficient increase in hydrocarbons stocks that traditionally account for the decrease of the production were supplemented by the sharp decrease in investments funds started in November 2008. The decrease in the volumes of the gas production is due to the reduction of gas export by 40.7% in January 2009 versus January 2008, as well as the reduction of the demand at the internal market by 0.8%, demand at power plants decreasing by 8.2%, which is connected with the weather and climatic conditions.

As a result of 2008 the volumes of electricity production were equal to 1037 billion of kWt per hour, exceeding by 2.2% the level of 2007. The situation changed in November 2008, when the negative dynamics of nearly all the microindices in the branch had been observed for the first time in the past three years. In December 2008 the production of electricity was equal to 95.7% of the level of the corresponding period of the previous year. In January 2009 the reduction in the volumes of electricity production went on and reached 7.1%, in February it was equal to 7.4% as compared with the corresponding months of 2008 as a result of unexampled drop in the output volumes of the processing industries.

The reduction in the volumes of the industrial production was observed throughout the last quarter of 2008 and two months of the current year. The output of processing industries production reduced by 21.0% in January-February 2009 as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year, the electricity, gas and water production and distribution by 6.6%.

It should be noted that in February of the current year there was a slackening of the decrease rated in the processing industry. The output of the processing enterprises made 81.7% in February 2009 versus February 2008 (75.9% in January), increasing as compared with January 2009 by 19.7%.

Processing industries, orientated on the external market and on the internal market of the investment goods proved to be the most vulnerable. The production of chemistry gods reduced by nearly 21.7% as compared with January-February 2008, production of mineral fertilizers decreasing by 31.6% in connection with the contraction of the demand for this production at the external market.

Against an exceptionally high dependence of the internal market on the import, it is highly apprehensive that in January-February 2009 the production of the pharmaceutical industry decreased by 23.75 versus January-February of the previous year.

AND FACTORS REAL ECONOMY SECTOR: TRENDS As a result of the change in the situation at the external markets and the contraction of the internal demand a number of the enterprises of the wood processing complex stopped the goods production and shipping. As a result the volume of the production of timber processing and production of wooden goods was 68.6% in January-February 2009 versus the figure of the previous year, and the volume of production in pulp-and-paper industry, publishing and printing industry 80.2%.

Index of construction materials production made 66.2% in the first two months of the current year as compared with January-February 2008; cement production 61.5%; concrete constructions production 66.4%, which is connected with the general reduction of the workload in construction by 18.8%.

A considerable decrease in the volumes of high-tech kinds of metal goods was also accounted for by the contraction of the internal market and the decrease in the export supplies. The decrease in production at the export-orientated metallurgy enterprises was observed throughout all 2008. The situation was aggravated in the 4th quarter 2008 when the world prices and export supplies dropped nearly by half, the internal consumption of ferrous and non-ferrous metals decreasing simultaneously. In this connection non-competitive facilities at a number of metallurgy enterprises were stopped. In January-February 2009 the metallurgy production made 69.8%, the production of finished metal goods 73.8% on the corresponding period of the previous year. In January-February 2009 for some products a slight growth of production was observed as compared with December 2008 or the decrease ion the decrease rates of the production. However when estimating these figures it should be taken into account that this does not mean that the situation at the production market has stabilized, and is mainly connected with the specific features of the technological processes and allowable lower limits for facilities load. Besides the growth of the production in February as compared with January of the current year by all the positions is accounted fror by the increase in attractiveness of export supplies of the rolled metal and steel pipes in the environment of ruble exchange rate falling.

In January-February 2009 index of machinery and equipment production made 78.8%, index of transport vehicles and equipment production 66.5%, electric, electronic and optical equipment production to 53.1% versus the corresponding period of the previous year.

The situation in agriculture machine-building is critical. Thus, the tractors output made 19.2% in January-February 2009 versus the corresponding period of the previous year, tractor seeding-machines 56.3%, tractor plough-machines 37.2%, combine harvesters 66.9%. the situation in the production of other kinds of machines is similar. The tension during the spring sowing season can be partially weakened due to a considerable stock of unsold machines at the producing plants.

The worsening of the economic situation, reduction in the volumes of purchases reduced the demand for the services of railway companies, which provoked the late payments of the joint-stock company Russian railways and, correspondingly, the contraction of the production of railway equipment. In January-February 2009 the production of passenger cars made 31.1!, of trucks 21.1% of the output in January-February 2008. The development of the production was negatively influences by the sharp decrease in the demand, decrease in the profits of population and enterprises and overproduction of motor vehicles in 2008, leading to the increase in stocks of production as well as in the decrease of the possibilities for the domestic enterprises to get credits to refill the liquid funds.

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