The dynamics of the actual tax indebtedness to the federal budget is represented in Fig.1. As of March 1, the overall volume of tax debts to the federal budget was a. Rb. 258 bln., while the respective balance of debts, i.e. extra payments of taxes, was accounted for Rb. 202 bln.
Execution of the consolidated budget of RF in comparable prices
(in prices of January 1998)
In February 2000 the consumer price index grew up by 1.0% (12.7% annualised). In total, since the beginning of 2000 the inflation rate in Russia has amounted to 3.3%. That is the lowest value all the period of reforms (the only exception was January – February 1998).
The main contribution to the consumer price growth in February 2000 was made by prices for services. The latter grew up by 3.0% (by 6.4% since the beginning of 2000). The prices for non-food goods increased by 1.3% (3.5% for January – February 2000), the prices for food stuffs– by 0.5% (by 2.6% compared to December 1999).
In March 2000 the tendency to decline in inflation rate was in place (see Fig. 1). For the first three weeks of the month the pace of the CPI increment made up only 0.4%. Thus, the inflation rate will not exceed 0.7% totally for the whole month (8.7% annualised).
In March 2000, the RCB implemented the policy of intensive accumulation of its foreign reserves (see Fig. 2). For the first twenty days of the month the foreign reserves grew by $1.35 bln. (i.e. by 9.0%) and reached $15.0 bln.. Hence, its attained the level fixed on the eve of August 17, 1998. However, the demand for foreign exchange on the part of the RCB could not compensate for the increase in supply of currency on the part of exporters. The pressure towards some appreciation of ruble was noted during the whole month (for details, see section «Foreign exchange market»). Over the period between early-2000 to March 20, 2000 the narrow monetary base grew approximately by 16 bln. rubles (from 307.5 to 323.3 bln. rubles, i.e. by 5.14%).
In March 2000, the Russian Central Bank published the data on implementation of the monetary programme in 1999. In 1999 the narrow monetary base grew by 48.3% (from 207.3 to 307.5 bln. rubles), the broad monetary base – by 66.8%, from 263.7 to 439.7 bln. rubles. The expansion of deposit related by operations and the growth of balances on corresponding accounts of commercial banks led to a change in the monetary base structure. In 1999 the share of cash fell from 71.2% to 60.6%, while as the share of compulsory reserves increased from 7.4% to 9.3% (in July 1998 – 16.5%), the share of balances on corresponding accounts – from 10.7% to 15.8% (in July 1998 – 6.5%), the share of deposits and other liabilities – from 10.7% to 14.3% (in July 1998 – 10.5%). In 1999 the real increment of the monetary base amounted to 8.5% (for narrow aggregate) and 22.0% in terms of broad aggregate.
The growth of other monetary aggregates had lower rate in 1999. Thus, M1 increased by 53.7% (12.4% in real terms), M2 – by 57.2% (15.0% in real terms), the broad money – by 56.7% (14.6% in real terms). Taking into account the fall in real money balances in January 1999, the increase in demand for money (aggregate M2) reached 25.8% in annual terms (see Fig. 3). Thus, according to preliminary estimates, due to some gap between the CPI rate and the GDP deflator rate, the monetisation of GDP in 1999 attained the level of 14.63%, i.e. the highest value since the price liberalisation.
S. Arkhipov, S. Drobyshevsky
The government securities market. In March 2000, the growth of quotations across all types of bonds accelerated at the market for the Russian foreign debt securities (see Fig.1 and Fig.2). Thus, up to March 24, the Minfin bonds’ prices grew up at 8–10 per cent points (i.e. by 20–35%). The attained price level corresponds to the yield to maturity about 13–18% annualised. The yield of the 4th tranche of Minfin bonds (the tranche is still very likely to be defaulted in 2003) fell to 28–29% annualised. The expectations of a positive Presidential rally outcome and the stable situation in the budget sphere (see section The State of Budget) became main factors, which determined such a rapid price growth.
The prices for the Russian eurobonds grew by 5–8 percentage points (i.e. by 7–12%). Their yields to maturity fluctuate between 13 to 15.5% annualised. Those values match the level of yields of bonds issued by the countries that had the international credit rating similar to the Russian one. It is evident, that over the last two – three months the prices for the Russian eurobonds have caught up that reserve of quotations growth that mentioned in our report in November 1999. Hence, the price growth pace will become slower during the nearest future.
In March 2000, the market for domestic debt also demonstrated a decline in its respective yields level. In the end of the second decade of the month the yield to maturity of the most tradable tranches of OFZ and GKO (matured in 2000–2001) amounted to 20–30% annualised, long-term bonds – not more than 38% annualised. The volume of trades at the secondary markets in February – March 2000 grew approximately by 1.5–2 times compared to autumn – winter 1999–2000 and reached 15–20 bln. rubles per month. In these circumstances, the lowering of the refinancing rate made by the RCB twice in March (on March 7 – from 45% to 38% annualised, on March 21 – from 38% to 33% annualised) only followed the ongoing tendency at the government debt market (On should bear in mind, that the limit of the maximum yield to maturity at the secondary GKO-OFZ market (the doubled refinancing rate) is still there).
Stock market. On the threshold of the Presidential elections, investors’ attention to the Russian stock market grew significantly. Stock quotations began to growth from late February 2000. By the middle of a trade session on March 27 the RTS Index reached 255.89 points due to the fact that the elections outcome became evident to all investors,. That level of the Index corresponds to its growth at 49.7% since early March. Last time this price level for the Russian stocks observed in mid-May 1998.
Nevertheless, after such a significant growth some correction in stock prices followed. The main reason for this correction was decisions of the OPEC countries concerning the regulation of the international oil market. By late March, the RTS Index dropped to the level of 225 points. Thus, according to the preliminary estimations, in March the RTS Index grew from 170.93 to 225 points, i.e. by 31.63% (see Fig.3).
A sharp growth in investors’ speculative activity manifested itself in increased trading turnover. According to some preliminary estimations, in March 2000 the total turnover in the RTS made up about $808 mln. That is at 83% superior to the respective index registered in February. Moreover, the RTS total turnover in March was at 315% superior to the average monthly turnover in 1999 and at 12% superior to the respective index of 1998.
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