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In 2003, a share of self-financing decreased and that of borrowed funds increased in the investment financing structure and, as a consequence, the banking system began to play a more important role. A positive effect of the growth in household savings and nonfinancing businesses was supported by decreasing net outflow and became a strong factor in stepping up business activity in the Russian economy.

3.1.2. Production of Goods and Services

The Russian economy in 2003 developed under the influence of the most relevant factors as follows.

  • Increased influence of external demand and increased contribution of fuel industry to industrial boom ;
  • Growth acceleration of import of final consumption goods as against internal demand;
  • Advanced growth of capital investments as against dynamics of the GDP and final demand ;
  • Intensive growth of service sector ;
  • Approximation of dynamics of real wages and labor productivity ;
  • Sustained strong consumer demand against the backgrounds of growing thrift propensity of the population ;
  • Disinflation under the tendency for the stronger ruble and growing money supply.

The service sector

The economic upturn between 1999 and 2003 took place against the backgrounds of simultaneous recovery of positive dynamics in the sectors of production of goods and services. Over the period between 1992 and 1998, the material, technical and labor potential created in the sector of services was fully employed by the market under the economic upturn. An advanced growth of production of goods over the period between 1999 and 2003 is supported by the market infrastructure developed during the period of reforms. Market services grew by 32,1% with the increase in production of goods by 44,3% over the last five years.

Commercial freight turnover in 2003 increased by 29,0%as opposed to 1998, while volume of communication services increased nearly by 2,56x over the same period. Over the last few years retail trading has been among most dynamic industries of the Russian economy. Upon reduction of retail trading volumes by more than 10% between 1998 and 1999 as opposed to 1997, on the following four years retail turnover grew at the rates outstripping the GDP’s dynamics as the purchasing power of the population recovered. The retail turnover index in 2003 accounted for 145,1% as against 1999 with the GDP growth by 29,8%.

Between 2002 and 2003, growth acceleration in market services was noted in the Russian economy. Market services grew by 8,3% with added value increasing by 7,0% in the sector of production of goods in 2003. Upward figures of the sector of services correspond closely to the level of business and structural changes in the economy. In 2003, the market was dominated by advanced growth in services of transportation, communication, trading, market operation support, and real property business.

Accretion of demand for industrial products both in the internal and external markets was accompanied by expansion of transportation operations. In 2003, commercial freight turnover increased by 7,4% with the industrial output growing by 7,0%. Export-oriented industries made the biggest contribution to the increased demand for transportation services. The increase in freight turnover in the pipeline industry accounted for 8,1% as opposed to 2002, with the oil carriage volume increasing by 12,4%, oil products by 7,6% and gas by 5,7%. Oil export capacity increased due to placing in operation of the second stage of the Baltic pipeline system with a capacity for 18 ml tons. Oil and oil products, ores of ferrous and nonferrous metals, and products of ferrous industry remain leaders in freight volumes of general railway cargos.

Figure 4

Production Rate of Goods and Services between
1994 and 2003 ( as percentage points )

The communication industry is the most advanced and fast-developing industries of the economy. The gross value added volume of the communication industry in 2003 amounted to 241,9 bln rubles, or 1,8% of GDP. Growth rates in volumes of communication services in 2003 accounted for 27,5%, and exceeded by 17,2 percentage points the level of the previous year. New communication operators account for nearly 3/5 of the total volume of communication services with more than a half being rendered to the population. Telephonic communication gained most acceptance among other types of electrical communication. This type of communication generates 2/3 of the total earnings from services of the industry, while mobile telecommunications generate 1/3. As of January 2004, the total number of users of cellular communication amounted to 35,5 ml and doubled as opposed to January 1, 2003.

The share of trade in the produced GDP in 2003 accounted for 23,0%, which corresponds to the average figure of the last five years. It should be noted that the industry was characterized by dynamic structural changes. First, favorable changes in the demand in the global market governed an overstepping growth and increase in the share of foreign trade in the trade turnover structure. Second, the Russian economy features nearly double increase in wholesale trade volumes as opposed to retail trade volumes. With increased economic activity an intensive growth in wholesale trade was supported by increasing demand for material and technical resources in the internal market.

Retail trading in 2003 was characterized by the final figures as follows:

  • increased role of small business in retail trading: small businesses achieved 49,8% of the retail trade turnover as against 48,7% in 2001, and 46,1% in 2000 ;
  • the share of non-food products in the retail trade turnover, which is a key parameter of the quality of life the population, remained practically unchanged and accounted for 53,8% as against 53,5% in 2002, and 53,8% in 2001.
  • trading stock remained stable and maintained at the level of 36 - 37 days;
  • the share of imported goods in the volume of retail trading accounted for 43% and increased by 2 percentage points as opposed to 2001;
  • growth retardation in prices of consumer goods was noted as opposed to December 2002, the consumer price index accounted for 112,0% against 115,1% in 2002.

The turnover growth index of retail trading accounted for 108,0% as opposed to the previous year, with increasing share of the GDP, up to 8,1% as against 7,6% in 2000, as the result of additive effect of the foregoing factors.

Figure 5

Production Rate by Industry between 2001 and 2003, as % against
corresponding period in previous year

Production of Goods

The production structure in the sector of goods is most influenced by the ratio of industry to construction. Positive dynamics of growth in construction was recorded from the 3rd quarter of 1999 and supported by increased production of capital goods and expansion of capital investments. The economic growth between 2000 and 2001 governed by increased efficiency of foreign trade transactions and market capacity, had an additional impact on accretion of demand for building and construction work. The average annual rates of increase in building and construction work in that period accounted for 13,4%, while the industrial production of construction materials was 8,3%. In between 2001 and 2002, a gradual growth retardation to 4,2% in the economic development was noted under the influence of restrained export and relative contraction of world market prices. It took the investment sector too long to respond to the changed situation in the internal market due its high inertance, however the response was sharp. The decrease in investment demand in the 1st quarter of 2002 governed a sluggish growth in building and construction work, as well as production of capital goods throughout the entire year. The increase in output of building and construction products in 2002 reached its minimum level over the period of recovery growth, 2,7%.

At the initial stage of post-devaluation period of development, production growth was supported by increased production of final demand goods due to growing activity of the domestic business in development of import-replacing production and expansion of market niches for Russian products. Machine building industry, light industry and food-processing industry were developed by outstripping growth rate as compared to the general output dynamics. These tendencies were resulted from active transformation of export earnings into expansion of the domestic market of investment and consumer goods. The manufacturers, which were primarily oriented to the internal market, were behind in price indices of the raw material industries, as well as rates and services of natural monopolies.

In the period between 2002 and 2003, the industrial growth dynamics and financial performance figures were found to be effected by disinflation and transformation of price structure in the internal market. Though in 2003 the tendency for outstripping growth rate of producers’ prices against consumer prices continued, the parameters of these values were more constrained. The growth in producers’ prices in 2003 accounted for 13,1% as against 17,1% in 2002, while the consumer prices grew by 12,0% as against 15,1% correspondingly. Obviously, a positive effect was achieved by administrative regulation of prices and rates of products and services of natural monopolies. This allowed the government to suppress the inflationary wave of 2002 initiated by accelerated growth of prices and rates of natural monopolies. The year 2003 was featured by a smooth growth of rates of products of the electric power industry. Price index in the electric power industry exceeded only by 0,8 percentage points the prices of industrial manufacturers, while the gap in 2002 accounted for 10 percentage points, and nearly 20 percentage points in 2001. The first fall in gas prices by 22,9% was recorded in the gas industry in 2003 since the beginning of the reforms. With a big share of transport component in the structure of both production costs and final consumption costs, the outstripping growth of freight rates had a significant impact on dynamics and structure of various industries of the economy.

Figure 6

Industrial Output Movement by Industry between
2000 and 2003, as % against previous year

Another specific feature of 2003 was growth acceleration of prices of manufacturers of consumer and capital goods. In price index of manufacturers in 2003 accounted for 115,2% in light industry and 114,8% in food-processing industry as against 105,8% and 105,3% in 2002 correspondingly. The price movement in the investment was as follows. The price index of manufacturers in the construction engineering accounted for 110,3% as against 112,6% in 2002, with prices of building materials industry increasing by 17,0%, and prices of the products of machine building industry by 11,2%. Such price policy deteriorated the competitiveness of the Russian products and increased the demand for imported goods against the backgrounds of strengthening ruble.

Figure 7

Price Movement of Natural Monopolies between 2002 and 2003 against Prices
of Industrial Products Manufacturers, as % against December
of previous year ( industry =1)

Table 6

Manufacturers Price Indices by Industry between 1999 and 2003,
in December against December of previous year, in terms of percentage

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

Industry total

167,3

131,6

110,7

117,1

113,1

Electric power industry

114,4

139,9

130,2

127,3

113,9

Fuel industry

234,9

155,2

102,2

124,3

101,4

Oil industry

249,2

158,0

97,1

125,6

101,6

Oil-refining industry

342,3

147,5

84,5

119,9

114,8

Gas industry

122,1

163,1

141,5

130,2

77,1

Coal industry

132,2

144,3

122,4

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