The dynamics of barter operations did not experience any substantial changes. The industrial sector continues to show a stable decline in the volume of such transactions. In May, the reports on the decline in barter deals clearly prevail in all the sectors, but the industry of construction materials. As a result, the growth in the aggregate (effective + barter) demand by the industry as a whole slowed down to 8 points after 13 noted in April. negative balances ( i.e. an absolute decline in the respective index) were reported by the ferrous metallurgy and light industry, while the other sectors reported the growth in the volume of sales.
For the second month running, the surveys registered a slowdown in the growth in output. After the peak value reported in March, the intensity of the growth in output dropped by 36 points and became the worst value ever registered over the last 16 months. The growth in output slowed down in all the sectors, except the industry of construction materials, while in the electric power, forestry, wood- working, paper and pulp and light industry the surveys registered an absolute fall in output.
The estimates of stocks of finished products do not instill optimism as well. Given though the responses “below norm” prevail in the industrial sector, however, for the second month running the share of such estimates declined, which has always been a sign of the forthcoming slump for the Russian industry which suffers shortage of liquid assets and inaccessibility of credits.
In May the price dynamics did not change. Still 2/3 of enterprises report that their producer prices are unchanged, while the others mostly report their growth. The share of reports regarding lowering prices makes up 2-3%.
After three months of decline, the projection of the change in output grew by 7 points in May. The industrial sector still shows the prevalence of plans to raise output. The decline in output in summer may become possible only in the electric power sector, while the other industry branches envisage growth in output, which should be maximal in the industry of construction materials, and minimal- in the light industry.
The projections of change in pries also grew. The prospects of tariff growth clearly have had their impact on enterprises’ forecasts. The most intensive price rise is envisaged in the sector for electric power, while the other sectors’ forecasts are more moderate, but every sector noted growth compared with April.
In May, the forecasts of the change in effective demand remained unchanged: the majority of enterprises hope to maintain the volume of their sales, and none of the industry branches envisage an absolute fall in their monetary sales. The most intensive growth is still envisaged in the construction industry, while the most moderate one- in the light industry, forestry and wood- working sector.
The forecasts of change in barter deals also remain unchanged. The hopes ( that have come true for more than one year already) for the contraction in barter transactions are stable and do not depend on fluctuation of effective demand. Step by step ( month by month) barter has been supplanted out of the Russian industry, and an absolute growth in barter deals in summer may become possible only in the industry of construction materials.
Dynamics of GDP and the populace’s living standards
Since early- 2000, th economic situation has been characterized with a low inflation rate, the relatively stable exchange rate, the trend to improvement of the indices of execution of the budget, with the absence of external financing. The favorable state of affairs in the world market for raw materials and fuel is a factor that stimulate t economic growth and the stability of the Russian budget. A high share of net export is still in place in the structure of used GDP, and in all the share of external economic factors in the increment of GDP in the Ist Quarter 2000 is accounted for over one-third.
According to results of the Ist Quarter, the increment in GDP made up 8% to the respective period of 1999, while the output pf produce and services of basic sectors- 9.5%. The economic situation finds itself under the determining impact of an intensive development of the industrial sector and rising investment activity. Between January to April 2000, the industrial production index reached 110.3% relative to its respective period of the prior year, while the respective growth in investment in capital assets made up 113.1%.
With the renewal of positive trends to development of the real sector in place, one notes a gradual improvement of he dynamics of social parameters.Between January to April 2000, the population’s real income grew by 7.8% when compared with the respective period of the prior year, and the real salaries and wages- by 24.8%, respectively. However, the population’s real disposable income made up just 78.5% of the pre-crisis 1998, which testifies to the fact that that the scope of poverty practically has not diminished. As of the end of the year, the number of populace whose monetary income is under the subsistence level reached 43.8 mln. persons, or 29.9% of the total number of the country’s population
In the structure of the population’s monetary income the prevailing part falls on salaries and wages. In the first Quarter 2000, the average salary due grew by 57% relative to its respective period of the prior year and made up Rb.1,898. The maintenance of the minimal salary amount in 1999 at a low level to a certain extent constrained the growth in the nominal salaries and wages. In 1999, the correlation between the minimal level of salaries and wages with the able- bodied population’s subsistence level dropped from 10% in January to 8% in December. In March 2000 the minimal amount of salaries and wages made up just 7% of the able- -bodied population’s subsistence level, and such a correlation may de-facto decrease until the end of the year, for the 2000federal budget does not provide any funding for raising the minimal amount of salaries and wages.
The gap between the level of salaries and wages in the budgetary sphere and industry grew. Thus, in 1999 the growth rate in the average salaries and wages made up 154% relative to 1998, while in the social sector the respective index made up just 132%. As a result, in 1999 the level of the average yearly salaries and wages of employees in such sectors as healthcare, education, culture and arts would make up 50-45% of the level noted in the industrial sector. In early 2000 one noted a growth in the gap between the level of salaries and wages of industrial employees and employees in the budgetary institutions.
Because of the limited budgetary financing, the 1999 indexing of budgetary employees salary tariff rates did not allow the providing for an acceptable level of theirs, and the respective rates by all 18 grades of the Single Tariff Scale has proved to be lower than the amount of the able- bodied population’s subsistence level. The 1.2 time indexing of the budgetary employees’ salary tariff rates effective as of April 1, 2000 was aimed at compensating for the growth in consumer prices over this year and would not entail an improvement of the salary rate correlation between the budgetary sphere and the industrial sector.
The trend to the growth in real salaries and wages relative to its respective period of the prior year that emerged yet in the IVth Quarter 1999 and was in place in the Ist Quarter 2000 allows a partial compensation for the fall in its level over 1998- 1999. This year, considering the projected inflation parameters, the growth in the nominal salaries and wages allow maintenance of the ongoing trend to a gradual growth in the purchasing power of salaries and wages. According to the RF Ministry of Economy, the growth in real salaries and wages over 2000 may make up a. 8%.
However, the government is challenged by the problem of hidden forms of labor compensation- payment of salaries and wages not shown in financial accounts. According to Goskomstat the hidden forms of salaries and wages stand at up to ¼ of the actual labor compensation, or 12-15% of GDP. That is caused chiefly by the employers’ ( mostly small- size enterprises, financial and commercial structures) intention to diminish the amount of taxes due to budgets and contributions to the government extrabudgetary funds. The problem can be solved through perfecting the tax law and changing the revenue-based taxation rates.
The social and psychological climate is still under the positive impact of the change in the situation in the labor market and the population’s emerging confidence in job opportunities. When compared with April 1999, the number of unemployed calculated by the ILO methodology dropped by 1 mln. and made up 8.6 mln., while
The number of officially registered unemployed fell by almost one-third over the period concerned. With the production renewal, as of April this year, the demand for working force grew. The number of vacancies submitted by enterprises to employment agencies totaled 671.8 Thos. The ratio of number of unemployed/ job opportunity dropped from 4.4 in April 1999 to 2.1 this year.
Despite some positive phenomena in the field of employment, one should expect stabilization of the unemployment level and even some rise in that until the end of the year. This hypothesis is based primarily on the estimate of such factors as the envisaged acceleration of the structural transformations in the economy and growth in its efficiency, which would entail a bigger dismissal of working force. In addition, in 2000 the growth in the increment in the able- bodied populace will continue.
While estimating the employment trends, one need to consider the change in the level of part- time employment. Paradoxically, it is both employers and employees are interested in development of part- time employment. In the conditions of a limited demand for working force, the part-time employees do not leave their companies because any consequent employment is problematic, while the maintenance of the part-time employment is attributed to both the employees’ economic considerations ( possibility of an unofficial additional income and free time available, along with the keeping of the official employment record) and social reasons.
The employer’s motivation is chiefly of a financial nature: the single social contributions that, as per the current law, must be paid to the dismissed employee are more costly to the employer than the maintenance of partial salaries and wages over a long period of time, or, moreover the keeping of the employee in a non- paid leave. In addition, at many enterprises personnel managers, especially at the first stages of reforms, proceeded from the hypothesis of maintenance of the traditional technology of production and use of labor resources. Such conditions also caused the respective psychology of employers who prefer to keep an excessive number of employees. Obviously the market transformations did not change the structure of demand for labor force to the extent envisaged in the course of the reforms, and one of the reasons for that appears the imperfect labor law system, social guarantees and taxation.
Structure of balance sheets of banks with the government participation in their capital as of April 1, 2000
In the previous issue we considered quantitative aspects of the governmental participation in banking capital. In this publication, we focus on the specifics of the banks that are attributed to the three categories of the governmental participation, which we singled out earlier. The comparison of main financial indices of the banks is made exclusive of Sberbank, Vneshtorgbank, Russian Bank for Development and the banks managed by ARCO. The average size of the assets of the banks wit the governmental participation and the average commercial bank is given in Fig.1.
Let us start with the smallest group, that is, the banks with the participation of authorities. Excluding Sberbank, Vneshtorgbank and the Russian Bank for Development, out of the remaining 26 banks the share of the government exceeds 50% only in two- Roseximbank and the All- Russia Bank for Regional Development. Among the banks with the participation of subfederal authorities participate one can note a great number of small and smallest credit institutions: assets of 14 banks do not exceed Rb. 100 mln., while the same number of banks have their capital under the equivalent of Euro1 mln. It is not a surprise, that the group portrait of the banks with the participation of federal authorities is far from ideal- it rather clearly demonstrates the defects of the current banking system and inefficiency of the government’ s management of its investments. The average amount of assets of the banks of this group is under Rb. 300 mln., and almost 40% of assets were placed within the banking sector. As of April 1, 2000, credits to non- banking sector were not higher than on average and made up 45% of assets, while the situation with the overdue credits is much worse than on average- 9% of credit portfolio falls on credits overdue, while the average rate is 3.3%.
The average size in the group of the banks with the participation of subfederal authorities is bigger than on average ( Rb. 1 bln. vs. Rb. 836 mln.), albeit the number of banks with their assets being under Rb. 100 mln. is also significant. Such banks made up almost 40% of the overall number. Of the banks with the participation of subfederal authorities, 45% had their capital being under Euro 1 mln. Of categories of banks with the governmental participation singled out, it was the banks with investments of the local authorities that had the lowest average capital assets ration ( less than 12%, with the average index of 16%).
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