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  1. Declared rates by three- month deposits in USD
  2. Actual profitability rate by Rb.(nominal rates recalculated considering reinvesting and deflated by CPI)

L.Mikhailov, L. Sycheva, E. Timofeev

The real sector: factors and trends

The specifics of the Russian economy in 1999 was an intensive growth in output in the real sector. In 1999 vs. 1998 the increment in GDP made up 3.2% and the increment in the output of basic sectors- 5.2%. However, even with such high growth rates, the economy did not overcome the results of the production decline, which had been caused by the 1997- 1998 international and domestic crises. The comparison of main indicators of socio- economic development over the last two years shows that the economy has not yet reached the pre- crisis level. Despite favorable changes in the state of affairs in the domestic and external markets, the gross output of the basic sectors made up 91.1% and GDP - 98.1% relative to 1997. The dynamics of these generalized characteristics of production is determined by the specifics of single sectors’ and industry branches’ functioning.

The analysis of structural shifts in the real sector shows that over the period between 1992 through 1998 the decline rate in the sectors, which provided services, was less intensive than the contraction in the output of goods. That constrained the trend to reduction in the GDP rate. It should be also noted that in 1997 the positive dynamics of GDP in both sectors of the economy was also determined by the higher growth rate in services compared with the output of goods. In 1999, the situation changed drastically: the structural shifts in GDP were determined by the acceleration of the growth rate in the output of goods, while the dynamic of development of the sector of services was more gradual. When compared with 1998, value- added in the commodity- producing sectors grew by 5.0%, while in the sector of services- by 1.9%.

While evaluating production ratio by sectors of the economy, one should consider the specifics of the formation of the price level and dynamics by single sectors. Given that in 1999 producers of industrial goods increased their prices by 67.1% when compared with the beginning of the year, agrarian producers- by 91.4%, in the sector of services the price rise was: tariffs for paid services to the population grew by 34.0%, for cargo transportation- by 18.2%, and for communication- by 22.8%. The change in the price structure has also influenced the proportions of GDP production. The comparison of the structure of GDP production in the current and comparable prices allow estimation of the intensity of the change in the proportions by the economy’s sectors. Thus, in particular, according to our estimates, in 1999 the sectors of the production infrastructure intensified their positive impact on the acceleration of dynamics of the produced GDP. With a moderate tariff policy, the growth in value- added in the transport and communication sectors was related to both the growth in the respective volume and the extension of the range of services provided.

Fig.1

Source: Rosstatagentstvo

The comparative analysis of the dynamics of output of the economy’s sectors shows that the dynamic development of the industrial sector has had a positive effect on the economic situation. The industrial sector reacted to changes in the domestic situation, which had followed the 1998 crisis, rather promptly. As a result of the Rb. depreciation and change in the structure of effective demand in the industrial sector, the trends to development of import substituting and export- oriented production strengthened. Since the 3rd Quarter 1998 the positive monthly dynamics of industrial output has been observed, and the deviations in the 2nd Q. 1999 can be completely attributed to the effect of seasonality. In 1999, the increment in the industrial gross output reached its maximal level over the last ten years and made up 8.1%. The domestic producers rapidly took that opportunity of the change in the competition environment which provided for the industry’s taking the path of growth. In 1999, the output of industrial products exceeded at 2.5% the level of the successful 1997 ( at that time some revival was noted for the first time since the start of reforms, and the industrial growth index would make up 102,0%). In 1999, practically all the industrial and production sectors showed some growth, while the growth in output of products of an advanced processing level has determined the growth in the share of the industry’s value- added in the structure of of GDP produced from 29.0% in 1998 up to 32.9% in 1999.

Source: Rosstatagentstvo

In 1999 the dynamics of the sector of services found itself under the negative impact of the fall in the retail trade turnover. The trend to the fall in the retail trade turnover has been observed since early 1998, and it was initiated by a systematic contraction in the population’s real income. The retail trade turnover dropped by 10.8% compared with the prior year. However, in this case the growth in the gross income of retail trade thanks to value factors generated the growth in its share in GDP.

While analyzing the dynamics of retail trade turnover, one should consider the fact that the period between 1998 through 1999 is characterized with a trend to the fall in import goods in the structure of commodity resources. Given that in the 1st and IInd Quarters 1998 domestic goods would form 52% of commodity resources in the retail turnover, by the 4th Quarter their respective share grew up to 71%, with the share of import supplies falling, respectively. In 1999, the trend continues, and according to preliminary data of the RF Ministry of Economy, in the IIIrd Quarter the correlation between import and domestic goods in the structure of retail trade turnover made up 27 to 71%. Negative projections of a possible crisis in the consumer market, which had been made immediately after the 1998 crisis, have not come true- the growth in the domestic production of consumer goods served as a factor which has stabilized the situation in the consumer sector.

While analyzing the change in the share of trade in the structure of GDP, one should take into account methodological specifics of consideration of this index and, particularly, the estimates of the gross income of foreign trade in main prices. With the change in the level and structure of domestic prices in the wake of the Rb. depreciation, the income from foreign trade have grown, which, in turn, resulted in the increase in the share of trade in the structure of GDP by 4.0 per cent points when compared with 1998.

The analysis of the structure of production of GDP allows the conclusion that some production potential has been accumulated in the economy over recent years, and the magnitude of the potential was likely to be underestimated. That could be attributed to both specifics of the economy’s development in the conditions of the hypertrophied development of the system of non- monetary forms of settlements and barter relations, and to the inadequacy of statistical monitoring of the ongoing processes.

O. Izryadnova

IET Monthly Trend Survey: February 2000

The industrial sector renewed its growth in February after the seasonal decline. All the crucial indices (effective demand, aggregate demand, volume of output) reached the previous level. The barter transactions continue to be supplanted : in February, the index of replacement of barter demand with effective one peaked its maximal value. Enterprises’ projections show a steady growth of optimism in the Russian industry.

These is the main outcome of the present business survey held by IET according to the European harmonized methodology. In the course of such surveys, we collect information on actual dynamics of an enterprise’s main characteristics, estimates of its current state, and short- term projections. The questionnaire’s inquiries are sequential, not quantitative. For example, the respondent is offered a scale of answers to the question as to what is an actual change in output: up, unchanged, down. Then we compute the differences between those who reported up and those who reported down ( as per cent). Such a difference is called balance and allow the presentation of the distribution of the answers to each question with a single figure with the sigh + or -. The balance is interpreted as the first derivative, or the pace of the process. Should the balance of answers to the question of the expected price change bears +, it implies that the average prices would rise in the short run ( the prevalence of enterprises, which have reported the projected rise in his prices). The growth in the balance from +10% to + 17% over the month testifies to a more intensive rise in average prices in the industrial sector, as the prevalence of enterprises which forecast their rise, experienced a growth. At the same time, the negative balance implies a drop in average prices ( more enterprises intend to decrease their prices). The change of the balance from –5% to –12% is interpreted as a growth in the price downfall intensity rate.

The simple construction of questions and answers allow the respondents’ prompt completion of questionnaires, without attracting their personnel or any documents. IET sends out the questionnaires, along with results of the previous survey to heads of enterprises by means of regular mail. That creates conditions for the completion of the questionnaire by a director himself, or by his deputy, or by a head of the economic department, i.e. by those managers who have the most complete picture of the actual state of affairs at the enterprise and who are more interested in a reliable economic information. The scheme individual answers- generalized results tends to eliminate a deliberate distortion of the data to be returned to the IET. An indirect proof of that is the results of annual surveys on surveys that have been held since 1996 ( see the Table). The direct communication with heads of enterprises allows incorporation in the questionnaire of such indices that cannot be measured by means of the traditional statistics, but which are unquestionably monitored by mamangers: obstacles to production growth, expectations, estimates of the level of competition in sales markets and competitiveness, dynamics of effective and barter demand for the enterprise’s products. The latter two issues are especially important, for they introduce, perhaps, the most interesting economic indicator of the country’s economy.

Table 1

Why do you respond to questionnaires of our business surveys

(as % to the number of those who responded)

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

1. because of receiving a useful information in exchange

50

53

54

57

61

2. because of understanding of the survey’s usefullness for the society

45

42

38

39

37

3. It is the reason to think of the situation at the enterprise

28

31

33

34

35

4. because of the custom of responding to the incoming inquiries

10

11

10

12

11

5. At my seniors’ request

5

8

8

9

11

6. because of curiosity

6

6

8

7

6

7. hard to name

2

2

3

2

3

8. others

2

2

2

1

1

Source: IET business surveys

The surveys are held by the panel that comprises over 1,400 enterprises. The enterprises of the panel employ 22% of the total number of employees in the industrial sector. Of the respondents 38%- directors of the respective enterprises, 33%- deputy directors, 22%-- heads of economic departments. The rate of return of questionnaires is 70 to 75%.

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