In industry, as far as these indices areconcerned, there has always been noted a stable prevalence of the answers“below the norm”. The industrial growth of the years 1999-2001 has not resultedin any drastic changes in the estimates’ ratios. Of course, by now theanswers “normal” have become more numerous. In industry on the whole the shareof these answers is 40%. But others (i.e. the majority) consider both thedemand and output to be insufficient. It can be presumed that it is theinsufficient volumes of the effective demand that force the enterprises toresort to barter transactions. To test this hypothesis we are going to applythe data on the estimates of output volumes (effective demand) and the changesin the volumes of barter transactions (actual and forecasted). The questionabout the volume estimates is put in the questionnaire in the following way:“How do you estimate the current physical volume of production at yourenterprise” The variants of the answer are: “above the norm”, “normal”, “belowthe norm”. The same wording is used in the question about the estimates of thephysical volumes of the effective demand for products. As possibleanswers to the question about the changes in the barter demand, the followingthree variants are offered to the respondents: “growth”, “no changes”,“lowering”. Let us consider two simple loglinear models with linearinteractions between the factors included. The first one estimates theinteraction between the estimates of effective demands and the actual changesof barter demand. The second model represents the interaction between theestimates of the volume of production and the actual changes of barter demand.
As the question about the changes in thebarter demand was included in the questionnaire in August 1998, calculationscan only be made for a short (as compared to the whole of the surveys conductedby the IET) period which regretfully for most part does not overlap with thetimes when barter was growing. Only the first few points in the table relate tothe last months of the year 1998 when the surveys were registering a slowingbarter growth in Russian industry. The models’ coefficients for this period arepositive which does not in any way fit our assumption because it means adecrease of barter in face of insufficient monetary demand. However fromJanuary 1999 onward the coefficients had acquired negative values and becamestatistically significant. In other words, since the beginning of a normal (dueto sales for money) industrial growth the enterprises have been takingadvantage of the barter demand in order to bring the volumes of theirproduction to a normal level. Similar results were obtained when forecastedbarter changes were applied in the calculations. In this case the peculiaritiesof the enterprises’behavior are expressed most graphically because the calculations include theirsubjective estimates of demand and output and similarly subjective forecasts(hopes, plans) of the enterprises.
The peculiarities of theindustrial dynamics in 2001
The dynamics of industrial production inthe year 2001, just as the dynamics of the effective demand, was of an unstablecharacter. Until the end of last year the enterprises had been maintaining highproduction growth rates although sales growth began to slow down as early as inNovember-December 2000. But nevertheless in January 2001 the manufacturers wereforced to correct their output rates because there has already occurred anabsolute reduction of the sales of industrial products. By March the surveyshad registered the resumption of the former high rates of production growth. InApril the rates went down, and in May became zero. After the May holidays theoutput growth rates began gradually to go up, and in September again acquiredrather high values. Production had not been displaying such rapid growth forthe 6 preceding months. The rates of output growth increased in all branchesexcept metallurgy and the construction materials producing industry. This rapidoutput growth resulted in dramatically improved estimates offered by theenterprises as regards their output volumes. The share of the “below the norm”answers fell to 56% which represents the best value out of all the 112 surveysconducted since March 1992. In “the worst times” the share of such answers was91%.
Despite the dramatic reduction in the saleof products for money, in November the industry continued to boost up itsoutput. Production growth rates increased by several points as compared toOctober. However in December the enterprises reacted to a reduction in demand.During the month the output growth rate went down in the industry as a whole by21 balance points. Production growth in December as registered by the surveysoccurred only in the electric power, fuel, machine-building, timber, woodworkand timber and pulp and paper industries. In other sectors output wasdecreasing.
The effective demand remained in the year2001 the principal type of demand defining the output changes in industry. Thisis demonstrated by testing the loglinear models where the interaction between the changes inoutput and the three types of demand (effective, barter and other non-monetary)was studied. Insofar as the question about the dynamics of the transactionsinvolving bills and set-offs was included in the questionnaire only in February2002, calculations involving all the three types of demand can be made only forthe two past years. Both the data on the actual changes of the indices inquestion and the forecasted data are tested. In the latter case the analysis isfocused on the preferences expressed by the enterprises.
The first model with the participation ofthe actual changes of output and demand had a high quality of fitting: theobserved significance level on the average was 0.6284 and in some cases reached 0.99. The model’s coefficients were alwayspositive and statistically significant only for the effective demand. Thenon-monetary types of demand had sometimes positive and sometimes negativecoefficients which always (except in February 2001) were statisticallyinsignificant. Thus, Russian industrial enterprises during the past two yearshave been persistently orienting their output at a normal monetary demand. Thesurrogate types of demand no longer have any influence over the output dynamicsin Russian industry.
The second model applying the forecastsmade by the enterprises had a similarly high fitting quality (on the average0.5448). The only exception when the significance level went below 0.05 was theperiod of September-November 2000. As in the first model, the coefficients werealways positive and statistically significant only for the forecasted effectivedemand. Other types of demand do not influence the forecasted outputs of theenterprises.
As the dynamics of the barter demand forindustrial products has been followed by the surveys since August 1998 theinfluence of the two types of demand (effective and barter) on output can beestimated over a longer period of time. The models utilizing money and barterhad a lower fitting quality than those utilizing all the three types of demand.The observed significance level only very rarely and slightly exceeded thethreshold of 0.05. The model’s coefficients were always positive and statistically significantonly for the effective demand. The coefficient for the barter demand had bothpositive and negative values and over time tended to lose statisticalsignificance. The values of the latter were lower than the coefficients for theeffective demand. Thus, even within the framework of this truncated model theassumption about a “normal” (monetary) character of production in Russianindustry cannot be overruled. At least for the past three and a half yearsRussian enterprises have been orienting their output (both actual andforecasted) toward the effective demand.
Yet another model capable of demonstratingthe peculiarities of the behavior of Russian industrial enterprises connectsthe forecasted changes of the employment rate (a dependent variable) to theforecasted changes of demand (independent variables). The forecasts of theemployment rate to a certain extent reflect the presence of excessiveemployment in Russian industry. In the year 2001, 10% to 20% respondentsbelieved that the number of the employed was more than enough as far as theexpected effective demand for their products was concerned. And this occurreddespite the fact that beginning with the second quarter of 1999 positiveforecasts of the employment changes have been registered, i.e. the enterpriseshave been planning to hire more staff. Thus, the enterprises preserve excessivenumbers of some categories of employees and insufficient numbers of othersneeded for manufacturing their vendible products. It is hiring the latter thatbecame necessary for Russian enterprises in the past three years. If thisassumption is true the plans for increasing the numbers of the employed must becorrelated to the forecasted increases of the effective demand.
The fitting quality of the model whichincludes the forecasted changes of the employment rate and the forecasts of allthe three types of demand has turned out to be very high. The observed averagesignificance level was 0.7096 for the past seven months and in the past threequarters never went down below 0.9. The model’s coefficients were positive andstatistically significant only for the effective demand. The non-monetary typesof demand had both negative and positive influence on the forecasts made by theenterprises, this influence always being statistically insignificant. I.e. theassumption about the normal market nature of the plans to hire employees inRussian industry cannot be rejected on the basis of the results demonstrated bythe surveys conducted.
A more lengthy succession of observationson the dynamics of barter demand has allowed us to estimate the effect of theforecasts of the effective and barter demands as seen since the end of the year1998. Now the model incorporated the forecasts of the changes of the employmentrates and the forecasts of two types of demand. The fitting quality in mostcases turned out to be unsatisfactory and only on three occasions exceeded thethreshold of 0.05. Again, only the coefficients for effective demand were foundto be always positive and statistically significant. The forecasts of barterhad both negative and positive influence on the forecasts of the employmentrate, sometimes were statistically significant and always susceptible to theinfluence of sales for money.
The current industrial growth and the highpercentage of enterprises with excessive (as compared to the expected demand)capacities have emphasized the question about the quality of the industrialgrowth. In other words, by means of which particular capacities the productiongrowth has been achieved by Russian enterprises after the 1998 default. If thishas been done by utilizing the old machinery installed back in the Soviet timesthat had been temporarily out of use during the 1990s, then we witness thegrowing output of clearly non-competitive products. They can be sold, ofcourse, under the conditions of a low exchange rate of the rouble andavailability of low-income consumers. But it is quite another matter if theproduction growth is achieved by utilizing some new machinery. In this caseRussian industry increases the competitiveness of its products and to a lesserdegree depends on the national currency exchange rate.
To test the hypothesis on the quality ofthe post-crisis growth in Russian industry, let us utilize the data on theplans for production changes, actual purchases of machinery and equipment andcurrent production estimates provided by the surveys. The first and the thirdof the above-mentioned variables can be traced throughout all the monthlysurveys conducted by the IET. The question about the actual and expectedpurchases of machinery and equipment was included in the questionnaire in2001 and since then has been offered quarterly. Therefore our calculations willbe limited to the past year only. Within the framework of this model we intendto assess the dependence of the planned output changes (a dependentvariable) on the previous actual purchases of equipment and the estimatedcurrent output. The presence of a positive connection between the purchases ofequipment and the planned output increases would mean output growth at theexpense of new equipment and production of more competitive goods. If theplanned production increase is defined mostly by the dissatisfaction of anenterprise by the level of utilization of its existing capacities it would meanan increased output of non-competitive products by means of old equipment.
The estimates of this model were made forthe four quarters of 2001, and in the majority of cases the observedsignificance level was above the threshold of 0,05. The model’s coefficients were alwayspositive and statistically significant for the purchases of equipment. Theoutput estimates always had negative coefficients which were not statisticallysignificant in the first quarter of 2001. Thus the actual direction of theinfluence of the two factors under study on the productions plans is the sameas forecasted. Output growth in Russian industry is based both on the purchasesof new equipment and on the utilization of the machinery that has beentemporarily out of use. However insofar as the absolute level of thecoefficients of the first factor is higher it can be said that the enterprisesnevertheless make plans for increasing their output to a greater extent on thebasis of new equipment than on utilizing old machinery.
The actual financial andeconomic situation at Russian industrial enterprises
The financial crisis of 1998 has changedthe situation in the Russian industry in principle. For the first time since1993, the surveys registered an absolute growth of the effective demand and adecrease of barter, and for the first time a prolonged and relatively stableproduction growth began. And, most importantly, the financial and economicsituation (FES) at the enterprises has changed in principle. The share of theanswers “satisfactory” became three times higher having increased from 20 to60% (see Fig. 22). Only 8% of the respondents in the year 2001 were expectingthe situation at their enterprises to become worse. And none of the respondentsexpected any critical deterioration of the situation.
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