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In January, Russia exported 20.142 bln. cubic m. of natural gas, or at 0.8% ( 163.475 bln. cub.m.) more than in the respective period 1999. At the same time, during the period in question the value volume of the export supplies of natural gas grew by 30.8% (USD 358.9 mln.) compared with January last year and made up USD 1,522.4 mln. During the first month 2000, the export of natural gas to Far- Abroad and the Balti states reached 1,2628.5 mln. cub.m. ( worth a total of USD 1,048.77 mln.), and to the CIS countries- 7513.6 mln. cub.m. ( USD 473.65 mln.). It is Ukraine, Germany and Italy which became the biggest consumers of the Russian natural gas- 7247.8 mln. cub.m., 3249.27 mln., and 1854.39 mln., respectively).

The Commission for protection measures in the foreign trade and for customs and tariff policy under the RF government approved a methodology of imposition of oil export duties. The methodology allows taking decisions on changes in export duties in an automatic mode. In compliance with a new tariff scale, the export duty fro oil will not be imposed should the international oil price is under USD 12.5/barrel; with the price being between USD 12.5 to 15/ barrel, the duty rate will be Euro 2/t.; USD 15- 17.5/barrel- 5 Euro/t.; USD 17.5- 20/barrel- Euro 9/t., USD 20- 22.5/barrel- 20 Euro; USD 25-27.5- 27 Euro, USD 27.5- 30- 34 Euro, USD 30- 32.5%- 41Euro, and from 32.5 and more- Euro 48/t. In the event the international oil prices reached a new level according the scale, the government should adopt the respective resolution based upon the Commission’s decision. However, any change in the oil export duty may not happen more often than once in two months. Considering the current oil prices, the new duty rate should be 27 Euro/t. ( currently - Euro 20/t.) The next change in the oil export duty should take place on June 7, after the adoption of the respective Resolution. The decision on the increase of oil export duty up to Euro 20/t. was made on March 7, to become effective as of April 7, i.e. within one month after its publication.

There are certain positive trends emerging in Russia’s trade with the CIS countries. Thus, in January the volume of trade with the said countries made up USD 2.0 bln. ( a 22.3% growth compared with January 1999). In addition, there is some progress in the Russia- Ukraine negotiations regarding the paying off of the latter’s debt for the Russian oil and gas supplies totaled USD 3 bln., and it is intended to examine the debts and the scheme of their disbursement yet in March to April, to sign final documents. It is also planned to negotiate Ukraine’s joining the CIS Customs Union, which would allow supplies of energy sources without charging export duties.

In March, the conditions of trade with Belarus slightly changed. Since March Russia has abolished the customs duties previously imposed on the goods imported from the Belorussian territory, though produced in the third countries. According to the conditions of the Customs Union, the customs duties are subject to collection to the budget of the country, in which the goods were initially intended to be used/consumed. However, in 1996 the Russian Customs Office issued an instruction, in compliance with which the goods from Belarus, which were produced in the third country, might be freely traded in Russia only upon payment of the Russian charges and fees. The RF Supreme Court has recently acknowledged that the instruction contradicted the respective provisions of the Customs Union Agreement, and from now on Russia evidently will find itself in an unfavorable position, because of a lower level of the Belorussian customs duties.

N. Volovik, N. Leonova

The populations finance and the consumer market

Monetary income. In the first half 1999, the effect of consequences of the sharp decline in the monetary income in September 1998 was still in place. As a result, during the period in question the population’s real disposable income did not exceed 75% of the level of the respective period of 1998. According to the results of the year, the decline in the level of real income made up 15%, given that December 1999 showed a 10% excess of income level over the respective index in 1998, and a 37% excess over November 1999.

A sharp change of the situation in December can be attributed to carrying out compensation payments right on the eve of the Duma elections, on the one hand, and, on the other, to the renewal of the monthly picture of the income fluctuation which was characteristic of the prior years ( the rapid income rise in December 1998 was less clear, because of the previous September shock).

Over 1999 as a whole, the population’s average monthly per capita income made up Rb. 1, 563 ( in December- almost 2, 500 Rb.). The inter-regional income differentiation intensified: for instance, the average per capital income in Moscow was 7-10 times higher than the respective indices calculated for the Oblasts of the Central region ( in 1998- 6-9 times, in 1997- 5-7 times)..

The fall in the real salaries and wages in 1999 was more significant compared with the decline in income- the average salaries and wages fell by 25% with a 15% drop in the average per capita income. ( The nominal average monthly salaries and wages in 1999 made up 1,575 Rb. vs. 1,050 Rb in 1998). At the same time, the contraction in the share of compensation for labor in the overall volume of the populace’s income was insignificant- a. 1%That can be attributed mostly to the fact that in order to analyze the income structure, Rosstatagentsvo began to include the volume of the latent salaries and wages ( the latter index is not included in the volume of the salaries and wages due, which is used to calculate the dynamics of real salaries and wages). Hence, even considering a 1% growth ( in annual terms) of the number of employees in the economy, such changes in the general structure become possible only in the event of fixing a significantly more favorable dynamics of the change in the latent salaries and wages compared to the official salaries and wages due.

Table 1

Structure of the populations monetary income between 1992 through 1999 ( as per cent)










Monetary income, total









Labor compensation










Social transfers










Income from property, entrepreneurial activity, others










In brackets:- official data of Rosstatagenstvo with the latent labor compensation taken into account; -the data comparable with the previous years;- the author’s calculations.

In late- 1999, in the majority of the regions ( the data are given as of November, except Moscow, Samara and Novgorod Oblasts), the average salaries and wages were higher than the per capita income level, however in Moscow the former index made up only 42% of the average per capita income level ( in 1998- 48%, 1997- 41%). The cross- sectoral differentiation of the average salaries and wages level somewhat grew- in late 1999 the average monthly salaries and wages in the fuel sector exceeded the average national level as much as 2.95 times ( in 1998- 2,37 times), while the sectors that were financed from the budget and therefore had a lower level of salaries and wages found themselves increasingly lagging behind the average countrywide level: for example, the level of salaries and wages in healthcare made up 60% of the average national level ( in 1998- 67%), while in the sphere of education, culture and fine arts- 55% ( in 1998- 60%).

In 1999, the pensioners’ state continued to deteriorate. The correlation between the average pension and the average monthly salaries and wages, which in the last Quarter 1998 shrunk to 32% ( from 38% reported in the 1st Quarter 1998) did not exceed 26% in late- 1999. Given that in the IVth Quarter 1998 the average pension was at 10% lower the pensioner’s subsistence level, in late 1999 it was approximately at 25% lower than the respective index.

In 1999, the correlation between the average salaries and wages and the subsistence level of the able bodied population slightly improved- for example in November it made up a. 170%, while last year it had not exceeded 150%.

In 1999, one noted a growth in statistical indices that characterize the level of differentiation of population by the level of monetary income. Gini coefficient grew up to 0.394 ( in 1998- 0.375), the fund coefficient – from 13.42 in 1998 up to 13.91 in 1999. Such a phenomenon can be partly attributed to the aforementioned faster growth of the latent salaries and wages ( which is more unevenly spread among r in nominal terms different strata of the population) compared with the official salaries and wages due.

The Rosstatagenstvo’s estimates of distribution of the RF population by the amount of average income per capita in 1999 are represented in Table2

Table 2

Distribution of the population by the amount of the average monthly monetary
income per capita, Rb. Thos. ( as % to result)

Population, total


With the income level of up to 400,00
















The distribution of the overall income volume among the 20%-groups of the population with a different level of well- being did not change in 1999 compared with 1998.

Early- 1999 showed rather a sharp growth in the subsistence minimum level, while in autumn, similar to the previous years, the value of subsistence level fell due to the seasonal downfall in prices for vegetables, and stabilized afterwards. In all for that year, the value of subsistence level grew by a. One-third ( December 1999 relative to December 1998). During the whole year, the share of the needy population with the income level being under the subsistence level was decreasing steadily- from 37.7% in the Ist Quarter and 35% in the IInd Quarter to 26.3% in the IVth Quarter ( chiefly because of the growth in income id December). One may expect that if the methodology of the calculation of this index by Rosatatagenstvo remain unchanged, in the Ist Quarter 2000 the share of the deprivated population would make up a. 30%.

Monetary income. During the Ist half 1999, the share of the population’s expenditure on purchasing goods and paying for services continued its growth relative to the overall volume of the population’s income ( from 75.5% in the first half 1998 up to 85%), while the share of organized savings in the overall volume of income remained low enough ( in single months it fluctuated between 2.4 to 4.7%). During the second half 1999, the share of consumer expenditure in the total volume of income began to fall: given that it stood at the level of over 75% in the IIIrd Quarter, it slid to 75% in the IVth Quarter (Such a level was characteristic of the first, per-crisis half 1998).

After August 1998, the share of the population’s expenditure on purchasing foreign exchange in the total amount of monetary income remained approximately at the same level and made up between 8 to 9%.

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