*) rated values, over the respective period on average
**) the data as of the end of August of 1996
The significant decrease of the CB’s refinancing rate in 1996 ( more than 2.6 times over January- October), given some price rise for finished products in industry observed since the second quarter of 1996, has brought credit costs down. An acute drop of real effective interest rate to 38.2% as of the end of October testifies to the above. However, a decrease of value of borrowed resources has not influenced real production’s functioning yet.
The budgetary investments were financed untimely and incompletely. Over the 11 months of 1996, state investments on the whole were financed at the level of RUR 11.5 trln., or at 34.4% of the capital allocated for this year. The financing of tender projects was a complete failure (5.2%), though their share in expenditure on state investments makes up less than 9%. Such a situation destabilizes investment market and leads to private investors loosing their trust in the state.
In the course of the last months, the trend to a decline of house building volumes was marked. However, this sector still remains the most attractive one in investment activity. For the period of January- November 1996, companies of all property forms put into exploitation 20.6 mln. square m. of floor space. It is at 10% down as compared with the respective period of the preceding year. The prices at housing market are getting down, which testifies to the fact that, given current restrictions in terms of solvent demand from the part of the majority of the population, certain level of the market’s satiation has been attained.
Situation In Industry
The industrial dynamics in 1996 was characterized by the remaining trend to production decline resulted from the continuing convergence of both domestic and international prices, along with tightening of financial and credit policy, and reduction in investment. The overall volume of industrial production reduced by 5.4% over January- November 1996, as compared with the respective period last year. At the same time, production of intermediate products dropped by 4.2%, output of production means- by 14.8%, and consumer goods production- by 6.8%..
Dynamics of physical volumes of industrial production in 1994- 1996
( in % to the preceding year)
1997 (elaborated forecast of the RF Ministry of Economy)
I vari-ant (targe-ted
Non- ferrous metallurgy
Chemical and petrochemical industry
Machine building and metal processing
Timber and paper and pulp industry
Construction materials industry
Thanks to both relative stabilization of domestic energy consumption and some rise in exports of energy resources, production decline rates slowed down notably in electroenergetics and oil- extracting industry, and output of natural gas grew. At the same time, shrinkage of domestic demand and decrease of export effectiveness rates have determined a reactivating of decline in metallurgy and chemical industry ( Table 7, Figure 9). The fall of investment activity in the economy determined further reduction in output of both machine- building goods and construction materials. The reduction in output of consumer goods is consequent to their progressing substitution with respective imported ones.
In 1997 one should expect completion of crisis restructurization of Russian industry and regeneration of rather a stable growth in some sectors, primarily, in electroenergetics, gas industry, and metallurgy. At the same time, an additional production reduction may happen in machine building, light, and food industries
According to enterprises’ estimations, the intensiveness rates of solvent demand reduction decreased by 6 points over the last two months. The balance increase ( rise- fall) is noted in all branches, except ferrous metallurgy (-58% after - 41% observed in November) and food industry ( -38% after -35%). The most intensive demand reduction rates were noted in construction industry ( -64%), while the most moderate ones happened in non- ferrous metallurgy ( -7%).
In general, estimations by the scale “above- below norm” did not change by industry in December. The share of “below norm” responds has been over 90% for the last months in all branches, but non- ferrous metallurgy and wood- working industry.
The December rise of balance of changes in output volumes testifies to a slowdown of industrial production decline. The balance was decreasing over the preceding three months. Balance increase is currently registered in all branches, but ferrous metallurgy, petrochemical and food industries.
Estimations of production volumes in the fourth quarter remain unchanged by industry as a whole. The share of “below norm” responds fluctuates by branches around 90%.
The rise of producer price was slightly more intensive in December. Comparing with last November, the respective balance increased by 2 points. Absolute price decrease ( negative balance) was registered in metallurgy. It happened for the first time over the last 11 months that the responds on price rise became dominating in wood- working industry. The most intensive price rise happened in food ( + 33%) and machine- building ( +18%) branches.
In last December, the balance of estimations of finished products stocks became negative- enterprises consider their stocks insufficient. It was the fall of 1994 when such a situation was registered for the first time ( -3...-2%). At the time, the balance dropped to -9%. Enterprises of all branches, but petrochemical industry, reported a lack of stocks. The most intensive deficit of stocks is observed in non- ferrous metallurgy ( -34%), light ( -31%), and food ( -23%) industries.
Forecast on change of output improved by 5 points and became positive again: the number of enterprises expecting rise of their output is superior to those companies who envision an output decline. Improvement of forecasts is registered in all the branches, but wood- working industry.
Forecasts on changes in producer price in the fourth quarter are within the limits of + 22...+ 25%. It could be food, machine- building, and petrochemical industries in which the most intensive price rise may happen at the beginning of 1997- at +38%, +34%, and + 27%, respectively. The most moderate rates of price rise are expected in non- ferrous metallurgy and wood- working industry.
The forecast of change in solvent demand grew by 10 points over the last month. Rise of optimism was noted in all branches, except light and food industries.
Lack of positive shifts in domestic demand along with the remaining favorable situation at international market of fuel and energy goods condition high growth rates of Russian exports. The latter made up USD 80.3 bln. over January- November 1996. Export grew by 9% comparing to the preceding year. The value of import supplies grew by 7% (USD 58.1 bln.)
The goods turnover between Russia and the C.I.S. countries made up USD 33.7 bln. over the eleven months of 1996. At the same time the trend to a prevailing growth of imports was observed over the whole year ( with the exception of September and October). Last November, imports made up USD 1.64 bln. and increased by 17.4% as compared with October, while exports, on the contrary, shrunk by 3%: from USD 1583 mln. in October to USD 1534 mln. in November. Thus, again, the negative balance reactivated, which was inherent in the Russia- the C.I.S. countries trade over 1996.
Despite of the fact that volumes of Russia- the C.I.S. countries goods turnover increased by 17% in value equivalent as compared with January- November 1995, physical volumes of exports decreased notably. At the same time, the growth of goods turnover is mostly determined by a rise of export- import prices. According to calculations made by experts of the RF Ministry for Cooperation, in the course of converging with international prices the above ones grew 1.4- 1.5 times over last year.Western experts forecast further reduction in physical volumes of the C.I.S. countries’ mutual trade. Thus, in particular German experts in their report on the 5th anniversary of the C.I.S. noted that the trade within the Commonwealth had dropped by 2/3 for the said period, and Russia’s goods turnover with the former USSR Republics reduced by 20%. Western experts also note the Newly Independent States’ growing aspiration to lean upon their own strategic natural resources. The experts also emphasize that resolutions adopted by the C.I.S. countries in the sphere of economy are rather weak, in terms of their practical implementation.
S. Prikhodko, N.Leonova, N. Volovik
1The estimate of regression model which includes the aggregated yields, the overtaking smoothed by moving-average rate of inflation and the rate of the real volume of GKO issues gives the result:
where rt - the nominal aggregated yield of GKO (%) a month for a week t, xt,t+8 - the average rate of the real GKO issue (% a month) during the eight next weeks, πt,t+8 - the rate of the CPI (% a month) during the same period. t-statistics are given in parenthesis; coefficient R2 equals 0.43 (the regression is estimated on 90 weekly observations for 1995 – 1996).
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