The macroeconomic situation in 2000-2001was determined by tendencies toward production expansion in all economy sectorsand industry. According to expert evaluations of the Fitch international ratingagency, Russia is one of most successfully developing countries bymacroeconomic indicators. Analysts maintain that the Government has efficientlydisposed of the additional revenue received as a result of increased world oilprices over the last two years. The Fitch international rating agency upgradedRussia’s rating inJuly 2001 from stable to positive (“B”). In December 2001, Standard &Poor’s also raisedlong-term sovereign ratings of the Russian Federation in the local and foreigncurrency from “B” to “B+”.
An intensive investment demand growth hasbecome one of the distinguishing features of Russia’s economic development over thelast two years. A sustainable trend observed over the last two years: growth ofinvestments in fixed capital has outstripped movements in GDP and the output ofthe basic sectors. The share of investments in fixed capital in GDP in 2001grew to 17.7 percent against 16.8 percent in 2000. This trend benefited fromexpanded domestic demand due to increased own and raised funds for investmentpurposes, a decelerated growth rate of producer prices in industry andconstruction.
The volume of investments in fixed capitalfor the account of all sources of financing amounted to 1599.5 bln rubles in2001, that is 8.7 percent higher than in the previous year. Intensifiedinvestment activity in 2001 was accompanied by a growing demand for capitalgoods and construction services. The volume of work performed by constructioncompanies went up by 9.9 percent compared with 2000, gross output in machinebuilding jumped by 7.2 percent and in construction materials industry– by 5.5 percent.Growth of investments in fixed capital was recorded in all federal districts,except the Central one.
Changes in the sector structure ofinvestments in fixed capital
The investment upturn of 1999-2001 was of astructural character, determined by an aggregate impact of the sector,technological and reproduction shifts in the national economy. Redistributionof investment flows was accompanied by a growing share ofinfrastructure sectors. In1999-2001 transport, telecommunications and tradeaccounted, on the average, for ¼ of the total volume of investments infixed capital against 15 percent in 1992-1996. Increased investment activity inthe infrastructure sectors and a growing demand for these sectors’ services are indicative of aeconomic growth potential, even more so since the investment policy in thissector has been mainly geared toward addressing long-term issues. A trendtoward an expansion of the market and the structure of the services providedagainst tariff containment became a characteristic feature of 1999-2001. Thisenabled entrepreneurs not only to expand their segments in the services market,but also build certain potential for further development. In the conditions ofeconomic growth, the fact that the infrastructure formed during the reformprocess proved to be fully utilized by the market, indeed became mostsignificant.
In the conditions of economic growth, theinvestment- in-industry trends were formed under the influence of substantialshifts in the sector structure.
Signs of investment revival became manifestat the end of 1998. Since the 4th quarter of 1998, the growth rate of investments in industrydramatically outstripped production trends in the sector acting as the keygenerator of economic growth. The year-average growth of investments in fixedcapital in 1999-2001 amounted to 12.2 percent, while industrial output went upby 7.3 percent. Growing investments in fixed capital exerted a domineeringinfluence on production trends and were accompanied by an intensive productiongrowth in all sectors of the investment complex. Production output growth inmachine building in 2001 amounted to 50.5 percent compared with 1998, inconstruction materials industry – 40.0 percent and 27.3 percent in services andconstruction.
Investment activity triggered off growth ofconstruction materials production. Economic activity revival in the sector istransferred to the sectors and productions geared toward new technologies inconstruction and, specifically, development of import-substituting producttypes. It is precisely in these sectors that production restructuring has beenaccompanied by active production retrofitting on the basis of advanced domesticand foreign technologies, as well as by creation of enterprises with foreignequity. With a changed economic situation and the demand for imported goodsplummeting, domestic producers are successfully filling the niches by offeringcompetitive construction materials, price- and quality wise in the domesticmarket.
Moreover, changes in the ratio betweenindustrial and civil engineering as well as introduction of new technologies ofconstruction and assembly works exert a significant influence on the trends andstructure of construction materials production.
In assessing the status and prospects ofRussia’s economicdevelopment, one should take into account that the upsurge of investmentactivity is largely explained by the market factors. The investment structurewas transformed under the impact of a growing demand from the fuel and energyas well metallurgical complexes, whose aggregate share in investments inindustry in 2001 exceeded 70 percent.
In fact, the investment demand in 2000-2001was initiated fully by oil producing industry whose share of investments inindustry exceeded 30 percent. Despite the fact that exporters have increasedinvestment expenditure on developing relevant production, however, theyexercise great care in investing the uncommitted funds at their disposal in theRussian economy. Thus, a gap between producers (exporters) of energy sourcesand the bigger part of the rest of the economy is getting wider.
The share of the fuel sector in investmentin the industrial sector
While 53.3 percent of investments byindustry sectors are in the fuel complex, 34.8 percent of this amount going tooil production. Compared with 2000, the share of investments in oil producingindustry increased by 2.2 percentage points. However, the ratio betweeninvestments in the production and refining sectors of the oil industry ischanging with the share of oil production rising. A more conservative trend ofinvestments in oil refining in the current year has resulted in a stabilizationof the share of technologies for complete oil refining at the level of 2000.
Growing oil companies’ demand for investments triggeredoff an accelerated production rate of equipment for production of hydrocarbonraw materials. Despite an intensive growth of equipment production for oilindustry, the inadequate volumes and irrational structure of the output do notallow to overcome a protracted lagging behind of the development well drillingrate. On the other hand, inadequate investments in oil production and relatedindustry sectors are also holding back the production growth rate.
The changes in the structure of the machinebuilding output were mainly determined by a growing demand of the oil industrysectors, transport and telecommunications. It is precisely in these economysectors that the highest rates of investment growth in production were recordedin 1999-2001.
Production indices by machine buildingsectors
Year-averageindex, in percent
In percent of the preceding yearvalue
Industrial sector, total
Hoisting andtransport machine building
Chemical and oilmachine building
Machine tool andinstrument engineering
Tractor andagricultural machinery engineering
Machine building for light and foodindustry and household electrical appliances
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