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March*

inflation rate (monthly)

1.2%

1.3%

2.3%

1.0%

0.6%

annualised inflation rate by the month’s tendency

15.4%

16.8%

31.4%

12.7%

7.44%

the RCB refinancing rate

55%

55%

45%

45%

33%

annualized yield to maturity on OFZ issues

81.10%

65.81%

45.50%

33.13%

30%

volume of trading in the secondary GKO-OFZ market a month (billion rubles)

9.67

12.13

8.52

19.46

17

yield to maturity on Vneshbonds issues by the end of the month (% a year):

4th tranche

49.22%

46.64%

42.52%

35.40%

29%

5th tranche

29.77%

27.03%

25.51%

23.50%

18%

6th tranche

28.60%

24.08%

20.16%

20.12%

16%

7th tranche

19.75%

17.65%

16.85%

16.49%

14%

INSTAR – MIACR rate (annual %) on interbank loans by the end of the month:

overnight

47.9%

15.14%

38.14%

14.40%

5%

1 week

10.0%%

20.0%

18.0%

20.0%

15%

official exchange rate of ruble per US dollar by the end of the month

26.42

27.00

28.55

28.66

28.46

official exchange rate of ruble per Euro by the end of the month

26.84

27.23

28.23

27.44

27.13

average annualized exchange rate of ruble per US dollar growth

1.42%

2.20%

5.74%

0.39%

-0.70%

average annualized exchange rate of ruble per DM growth

-2.15%

1.45%

3.67%

-2.80%

-1.13%

volume of trading at the stock market in the RTS for the month (millions of USD)

264.1

289.3

489.5

441.5

808

the value of the RTS-1 Index by the end of the month

112.36

177.71

172.31

170.93

225

growth in the RTS-1 Index (% a month)

14.89%

58.16%

-3.04%

-0.80%

31.6%

*/ estimated

S. Arkhipov, S. Drobyshevsky

Investment in the real sector

A vigorous introduction of reserve capacities into operation became a main factor of the economic growth in 1999. With the current trend to decline in actual accumulation in place, the growth in output is temporary and, as a rule, id determined by the increase of the level of the use of the current capacities and an vigorous introduction of reserve capacities into operation at the expense of modernization and reconstruction of the potential accumulated. In 1999, the average sectoral loading of oil- refining capacities was 61%, given that the economically efficient level is 80-85%, and their structure is characterized with a low proportional weight of secondary processes of intensive oil refining and an extremely high depreciation rate of the respective equipment. A high ( 93.3%) level of the loading of the aluminum production capacities became possible mostly thanks to tolling operations. In the sector of chemicals and petrochemicals, because of the favorable state of affairs in the external market and the growth in domestic demand for the sector’s products, the production capacity loading rate made up 53% vs. 43% reported in 1998. In the machine building and metal processing, positive trends were supported by the processes of optimization of production capacities, enhancement of qualitative characteristics of single kinds of machines and equipment, and the introduction into the production cycle of modern elaborations and other kinds of highly efficient technology.

The increase in the level of use of the accumulated production potential is, of course, a positive phenomenon, though one needs to take into account economic characteristics of the state of the accumulated capital assets to estimate prospects for economic growth.

The hypothesis of a possible acceleration of the economic growth rate by introducing reserve capacities into production cannot be proved by the analysis of the current capacities in terms of their respective products’ competitiveness. If one compares the share of competitive capacities and the dynamics of output, it would allow both explanation the specifics of the crisis in concrete industrial sectors and the relative slowdown in the increment rate in machine building, chemicals and food- processing industry over the IInd half 1999.

The aforementioned situation is also affected by the state of machine- building capacities, of which less than one- third is competitive. Since the beginning of reforms, the state of the industry branches of the investment machine- building sector has been a technological factor which constraints the possibility of production reconstruction and modernization at a new technological basis: the obsolete structure of the sector can reproduce only obsolete proportions of reproduction.

With the industrial capital asset renovation coefficient lowering from 5.3% in 1991 to 1.0% in 1998, the age characteristics of capital assets deteriorated substantially. In the structure of the machinery and equipment stock in the industrial sector, the share of production equipment aged up to 5 years fell from 26.6% to 4.1% over the period in question, while its average age grew from 11.3 to 16.1 years, respectively. As of late- 1999, the deterioration of capital assets in the industrial sector made up 52.9%, while the deterioration rate of machinery and equipment reached 68.1%. The indices of a low investment activity in the electric power and fuel sector also cause a certain concern, for all the industry branches of the fuel and energy sector have the designed capacity of their equipment exhausted by over 50%, while in the oil- refining sector the respective index made up 80%.

The contraction in investment in the agrarian sector has not been overcome, either. because of the lack of funds, the agrarian enterprises cannot buy agricultural machinery, and that has resulted in a low ( 40-60% of the normal need) rate of the sector’ sufficiency with agricultural machinery, while the level of the existing machinery’s depreciation made up almost 70%. The maintenance of these trends may entail irreversible processes in the production equipment of the branch.

The characteristic feature of 1999 became a more than 10 per cent point growth in the share of expenditure on purchasing machinery and equipment in the structure of investment expenditure, which took place on the background of the contraction of the share of expenditure on major overhaul. With the investment resources being limited, the enterprises mostly focused on an active introduction of competitive reserve capacities into production and the production modernization through purchasing new technological lines. In addition, with the change of the market situation, the structure of capital expenditure showed the growth in expenditure on implementation of highly efficient projects on production reconstruction and modernization, with the contraction in new construction. Such a direction of the investment activity is often dictated rather by the rationalizing of resource flows used to reproduce capital assets than the amount of the capital used. As a result, 1999 showed the renewal of the investment demand fro machinery and equipment, which testifies to rather a flexible and prompt reaction of producers to the change in the domestic market situation

O. Izryadnova

Main trends in the real sector

With the output in the real sector growing, one notes a gradual improvement of the dynamics of financial indices. In 1999, the aggregate profit by the whole economy made up Rb. 729.9 bln., which is as much as thrice more than in the prior year ( tow times more in real terms). By the results of the year, almost all the goods- producing sectors had a positive balance, the share of unprofitable industrial enterprises fell by 10.0 per cent points compared with 1998. According to some experts’ calculations, the profitability rate by all the economy’s sectors grew by 6.8 per cent points relative to 1998. The improvement of indices of physical performance is noted practically in all the enlarged industrial sectors.

Table 1

Profitability rate by main sectors of the industrial sector and economy, as %

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999*

By sectors of the economy, total

15,8

4,8

6,3

8,1

15,3

industry

20,1

9,2

9,0

12,7

16,1

Electric power

17,5

14,3

14,1

12,0

12,9

Fuel

20,8

11,7

13,1

15,7

29,2

Including:

oil

21,2

14,9

14,7

17,6

39,0

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