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The share of banks, which managed to attract the population’s additional deposits on the eve of the discontinuation of their operations, was very stable 15-17% in 3 months prior to withdrawal of their licenses, with a consequent fall in the said value. The only exception was the period between mid- 1997 trough mid- 1998, during which the share of such banks grew from 12 up to 15% in 1 month prior to the license withdrawal. At the same time there is the growth in the rate of banks in which the amount of private individuals’ deposit accounts in Rb. remains unchanged. The drastic drop in the share of banks, in which the said amounts change, for all the three time periods falls on the period after 2 months upon the withdrawal of their licenses. Fig. 2 and 3 show that the percentage of banks that do not experience any changes over the period in question is close to 80%. During the pre-crisis period, that rate was somewhat lower (67%), however it should be noted that this group also includes a bigger share of banks the data of which was unavailable at that time (18%), and the overall percentage of the banks which tended to discontinue their operations with deposits could have been higher.

Fig.1

Dynamics of private individuals Rb. deposits in banks whose licenses were
revoked between mid- 1997 through mid- 1998

  1. - fall at over 10%
  2. - fall at less than 10%
  3. - Unchanged during the said month
  4. - growth at less than 10%
  5. – growth at over 10%

Note: the data in per cent terms relative to the overall number of banks which had private individuals’ deposits in 1 Quarter prior to the license withdrawal. The amount is not always 100%, due to absence of the data on some banks for a concrete month.

Fig.2

Dynamics of private individuals Rb. Deposits in banks whose licenses
were revoked in the second half 1998

1- fall at over 10%

2- fall at less than 10%

3- Unchanged during the said month

4- growth at less than 10%

5– growth at over 10%

Note: the data in per cent terms relative to the overall number of banks which had private individuals’ deposits in 1 Quarter prior to the license withdrawal. The amount is not always 100%, due to absence of the data on some banks for a concrete month.

Fig.3

Dynamics of private individuals Rb. deposits in banks whose licenses were
revoked during the first 8 months of 1999

1- fall at over 10%

2- fall at less than 10%

3- Unchanged during the said month

4- growth at less than 10%

5– growth at over 10%

Note: the data in per cent terms relative to the overall number of banks which had private individuals’ deposits in 1 Quarter prior to the license withdrawal. The amount not always is 100%, due to absence of the data on some banks for a concrete month.

L. Sycheva, L. Mikhailov, E. Timofeev

Real sector: factors and trends

The renewal of economic activity was characteristic of 1999. Since the second half 1999, the main sectors of the economy have demonstrated a steady trend to growth in output and services, and GDP has renewed its positive dynamics. According to preliminary results, the increment in the output of main industries is accounted for 5.2% vs. 1998, while the GDP increment made up 3.2%. During last year, one noted a dynamic growth in industrial output. It should be noted that the growth in output took place also in other good- producing sectors: at 2.4% in agriculture, and at 5.4% (the volume of work completed) in capital construction. As a result, the share of production of goods in the GDP structure grew by 1.3 per cent points relative to the prior year.

Specific factors and conditions influenced the dynamics of single sectors’ development. The determining factor for acceleration of the growth rate in the export- oriented sectors became a favorable state of affairs in the world market for fuel and natural resources, while the renewal of posit dynamics in the processing sector m can be attributed to the growing domestic demand for the domestic product and intensive development of import- substituting processes. The change in the domestic economic situation, which takes place after the Rb. depreciation and growth in the domestic goods’ competitiveness, in terms of prices, relative to their import analogues has encouraged the production re-activation in the industries of the consumer sector. For the first time over the period of reform, the light and food- processing industries showed some growth in their output. In the course of improvement of enterprises’ financial state and growth in capital accumulation, the investment sector demonstrated the growing rate of increase in investment in capital assets and demand for capital goods. According to the year’s results, the increment in the machine- building sector’s output made up 15.9%, while the respective index of the industry of construction materials made up 7.7%.

The growth in the output of goods has generated the growing demand for the services provided by the infrastructure sectors: the commercial cargo turnover of the transport sector grew by 5.2%, while the volume of communication services provided- by 36.3%, and the activity in the wholesale market of material and technical resources also intensified. The increment in the sales of production goods made up 2.6% relative to the prior year.

The production growth was accompanied by the growth in demand for labor force that slightly alleviated the tension in the respective market. For the whole 1999, the absolute fall in the overall number of unemployed made up 1.3 mln., and the number of officially registered unemployed fell by 0.6 mln. The ratio between unemployed registered at the employment agencies per 1 vacancy dropped from 6.5 persons in November 1998 to 2.4 persons in the respective period of 1999. Those processes assisted to a gradual alleviation of the social tension, especially in the regions.

However, despite the production renewal, in 1999 the consumer market showed an unchanged trend to the fall in the level of retail trade turnover. Given that, though, that the stable monthly dynamics has been noted since May 1999, for 1999 as a whole the retail trade turnover made up 92.3% of the prior year’s level. With the population’s income level decreasing, the share of foodstuffs in the structure of retail turnover grew by 1.2 per cent points compared with 1998.

On the background of the general trend to decrease in goods turnover through all channels of sales, the share of non- organized forms of trade grows: that is characteristic of the shift in demand towards the sector of cheap assortment of goods. As to the current level of prices and income, 81.4% of the population’s expenses falls on purchasing goods and paying for services provided. That is accompanied by the emerging trend to fall in savings and spending of those on current consumption.

The gradual slowdown on inflation rate in combination with the measures, which the government undertook to pay off backwages and social payments, has slightly alleviated the social tension. CPI made up 136.5% relative to December 1998, given, at the same time, that that during the first half 1998 consumer prices grew by 3.7% per month on average, while during the second half- by 1.3%. Though over the year, during some months, the monthly dynamics was positive, for 1999 as a whole the population’s real income made up 84.9% of the prior years’ level, while real wages and salaries- 76.0%.

Chart.1

Source: Rosstatagenstvo

The fall in the population’s living standards was taking place on the background of the growing population differentiation by income level. The number of persons whose income is below subsistence level totaled 49.9 mln., or 34.1% of the overall number of population.

The poor strata react especially sharp to untimely payment of wages and social subsidies, which in the majority of cases are the only source of their income. As of January 1, 2000, the aggregate amount of backwages made up Rb. 437 bln., including the indebtedness caused by underfinancing form the budgets of all levels- Rb. 10.2 bln. Over 60% of budgetary debt fell on social sector, and 11%- on industrial sector. Of the overall volume of budgetary underfinancing, 18.8% fell on the federal budget, and 81.2% on territorial budgets.

In 1999, because of the growth in output and improving financial results, the enterprises tended to decrease their backwages. However, even in such conditions, as of January 1, 2000, the enterprise backwages amounted to Rb. 33.5 bln. The persistent necessity to solve the problem of fulfillment of social obligations is determined by the intensifying population’s claims to pay off backwages, which became specially notable since January.

Chart 2

O. Izryadnova

Situation in industry

In 1999, the dynamics of industrial output was characterized with a significant production growth: the volume of production grew by 8.1% compared with the prior year, which is the highest value over the ‘90s. The depreciation of Rb. has generated the development of export-oriented and import- substituting production and determined a significant growth in output in all the main sectors (Table 1). Of the main sectors, the biggest production growth was noted in chemicals and petrochemicals (at 21.7%), light industry (20.1%), forestry, wood- working and paper and pulp sector (at 17.2%). At the same time the latest statistical data show a gradual exhaustion of the devaluation effect. Thus, considering exclusion of the seasonality’s impact, the volume of industrial output in October last year vs. the prior month slid by 1.1%, while in November the respective increment made up just 0.2%, and 0.5%- in December.

Table 1

Dynamics of physical volume of industrial output between 1996- 1999, as % to the prior year

1996

1997

1998

1999

Industry, total

96,0

102,0

94,8

108,1

Electric power

98,4

98

97,5

100,2

Fuel

98,5

100,3

97,5

102,4

Ferrous metallurgy

97,5

101

91,9

114,4

Non- ferrous metallurgy

96,4

105

95,0

108,5

Chemicals and petrochemicals

92,9

102

92,5

121,7

Machine building and metal processing

95,4

104

92,5

115,9

Forestry, wood- working and paper and pulp sectors

82,5

101

99,6

117,2

Industry of construction materials

82,7

96

94,2

107,7

Light industry

77,5

98

88,5

120,1

Food- processing industry

95,8

99

98,1

107,5

Source: Roststatagentsvo

At the same time, the conditions in the external market are still favorable for the Russian industry. Thus, over recent months the situation in the world energy market has been characterized by a significant price rise for oil and reaching the level of USD 26-27/barrel. That has encouraged the output, both in the oil and gas sector and in the related sectors. In 1999, the total volume of oil output made up 100.3% relative to the prior year, while the volume of oil refining- 102.9%. The amount of the exploitation fund of oil wells also stabilized, and for the eleven months 1999 the volume of exploitation oil drilling made up 105.8% relative to the prior year.

Because of the rising international oil prices, the foreign exchange export revenues from oil also grew sharply. By our estimates, last year the value of the Russian export of oil and main kinds of petroleum derivatives made up USD 17 bln., or at 3 bln. more than in 1998. The rising international oil prices have substantially improved the financial state of both the oil companies and the Russian economy as a whole, since revenues from the energy exports are a serious factor for the formation of the government budget revenues, maintenance of the Rb. Rate and paying off the country’s external debt.

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