Vladimirov Alexander

Condition, problems and prospects of development of Russian economy at a new stage of reforms.


In the report the basic problems of Russian economy and possible ways of their decision are examined.

The special attention is paid on the analysis of the reasons of financial crisis in Russia in August, 1998. The questions of the high state charges, significant volumes of borrowings necessary for their maintenance are analysed. The questions of duties on the state obligations, questions non-payment in state and private sectors of economy are examined. The opportunity and borders emission part of the budget charges is investigated. The basic parameters of the budget for 1999 are summarised.

The measures on stabilisation of a situation and possible variants of development of economy in the long term perspective are considered.

Though the scales of budget redistribution for last eight years have decreased twice, the state deprived of automatic support of an economies and banks is not capable to support with the incomes all its obligations.

Threat of debt crisis started to grow in 1994 ? 1995, with transition from emission financing of budget deficit to credit financing. Just in 1995 the mechanism of short-term rouble crediting of the budget by means of government bonds gets macroeconomic importance: it retrieves ever more credit resources from economy, the rates on government bonds turn to decision - making factor on money market.

Turning to debt financing, the government should be passing to realisation of appropriate tax and budget policy. It was absolutely necessary to carry out a reform of the budget, sharply to lower its deficit and to start mechanisms of growth in real sector of economy during one-two years. All this would allow to serve confidently the internal and external debts and to monitor their pace and price. The only left alternative was debt crisis.

After financial crisis in August, 1998 and significant growth of inflation and recession of manufacture which followed that, in IV quarter of 1998 the rates of recession of industrial manufacture were essentially slowed down, moreover, in monthly dynamics since October the recession was replaced by growth of industrial manufacture.

If in September the recession by the appropriate month of the previous year was 14,5 %, in October ? 11,1 %, in November ? 9,1 %, in December - 6,6%. Moreover, since October the monthly growth of volumes of industrial manufacture was noted. So, the rate of industrial manufacture with exception of the seasonal factor has increased in October, 1998 on 0,6 % (without considering of the seasonal factor on 10,1 %) in comparison with the previous month, in November ? On 2,3 %, and in December on 3 percent (without considering the seasonal factor on 7,1 %). This was promoted by measures on increase bank liquidity and partial overcoming of crisis of payment system.

In December, 1998 the first results of action of the undertaken measures on support of manufacture and strengthening of real sector of economy, and also in tax-budget sphere are received.

Yuri V. Beletski

Improving and utilizing economic indicators of Russia


In the submitted work the general description of the Russian Federation statistical bodies activity is given. The problems of statistical parameters development are considered.

The description of «an economic activity index» developed by the author is given and with the help of this index the analysis of economic dynamics of 1998 is conducted. It shown, that after achievement of maximum recession in September, 1998 in October - December 1998 the stabilization and growth was observed.

The analysis of the factors of industrial production stabilization and growth in 4 quarter of 1998 after August crisis is presented. It is proved, that the basic contribution to stabilization of production is determined by expansion of internal demand.

The role and influence of barter on Russian economy is discussed. The stages of barter development are described and latest data on a share of barter in the industrial production are presented.

Susumu Kuwahara

Improvement and Better Utilization of Economic Indicators in Russia


Although many economic indicators have been developed in Russia, they appear to have problems in reliability and dissemination. Because of the opaque relationship between the statistical office and the tax authorities, under-reporting to the statistical office has become a serious problem. The Goskomstat, the state statistical office, estimates the size of GDP, including that of the unofficial economy. However, there are different estimations regarding the unofficial economy. The most important thing in the improvement of statistics is to make the statistical office trustworthy to the people so as to be encouraged to report true data. The Statistics Law of Japan provides good suggestions in this regard. Japan has won the people's trust to the statistical office by severely prohibiting the use of information apart from the original objective.

Economic indicators seldom dictate economic policies. Generating the general agreement among people as well as among policy-makers on economic conditions using economic indicators and their analyses will help the government to formulate and implement policy measures. In this field, we believe Japanese experiences in the field of publishing economic white papers and monthly economic reports may be helpful.

It is noted that lack of credibility and effective dissemination of statistics has worsened market sentiments in the process of the Russian financial crisis in the summer of 1998. Trust by well-informed foreign investors is essential to stabilize the market. For this purpose, it is important to provide them with objective, timely, and needed information. Some indicators are also suitable for predicting a financial crisis with proper usage. For example, economic indicators such as the unfounded rise of the real exchange rate or shrinking foreign reserves are often cited as leading indicators of currency/financial crisis. However, these types of indicators often send wrong signals and mislead market, too. Thus, not only timely provision of data, but also exact interpretation and analyses of these by government economists become all the more important.

Ukolova Marina

How to charge public utilities for efficient allocation of resources in Russia


The paper contains a brief survey of burden of public utilities reform on the budgetary system and households in Russia. The article consists of five parts.

Chapter I is concerned with relationships between the federal and local budgets.

Chapter II point out that the burden of public utilities on the budget is too heavy.

Chapter III examines critical issues of the situation of population in Russia regarding high prices on public utilities.

Chapter IV concerns the anti-monopoly policy.

Chapter V ends by the international comparison of the level of tariffs on electricity.

Available data is presented in the Appendix of this paper.

Hirofumi Arai

How to Charge Public Utilities in Russia Properly


The former Soviet Union had a system in which the governments and enterprises bore the greater costs of public utilities, and the Soviets enjoyed low prices. This structure has not yet been changed fundamentally in Russia. Although natural monopolistic enterprises have been privatized and the market system was introduced to improve efficiency, old rules and systems still remain to be reformed.

In 1997 expenditures for public utilities amounted to 13.4 percent of the consolidated budget (4.4 percent of GDP) and exceeded that of budget deficit excluding debt services. It illustrates a very heavy burden of public utilities on the budget.

Public utility charges for the Russian population remain low when internationally compared. Many of them are not based on the volume of consumption, but on the number of family or size of floor area. Introduction of a consumption-based billing system makes residential users realize true costs and henceforth they control their consumption. As a result, favorable conditions are created to increase the proportion of residential sector in sharing the cost. Meanwhile, the new system helps to avoid wasting resources.

Reduction of the budget deficit from the increased revenue and reduced expenditure is urgently needed. A raise in tariffs for the population to appropriate levels will reduce budget expenditures, which have of great significance in this respect.

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