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General Economic Trends

Foreign Trade
Household Income and Savings
Financial Markets


    As a result of rapid rates of production growth in most sectors of the economy, Russian companies and organisations continued to demonstrate high investment activity. Fixed capital investment in January-February 2004 expanded 13.4% compared to the same period last year (in January-February 2003, it rose 9.5%) and totalled 138.3 billion rubles.

    Fixed capital investment dynamics, monitored without taking account of seasonal and random factors, in January-February 2004 showed that the trend towards growth that began in April 2002 has gained ground.

    Favourable fixed capital investment dynamics at the beginning of 2004 were accompanied by a high level of business activity in the construction branch. The value of construction work done by contract in January-February 2004 expanded 13.5% compared to the same period last year (in January-February 2003, it increased 13.6%) to 148.2 billion rubles.

    According to a Goskomstat study, the average utilisation rate of construction companies as of February 10, 2004, reached 60% against 59% a year earlier. The backlog of orders concluded by construction companies as of March 1, 2004, guaranteed them work for 3.1 months at the February utilisation rate (against 3.6 months a year earlier).

    Housing construction continued to expand at the beginning of the year. Housing with a total floor space of 3.5 million square metres was commissioned in January-February 2004, an increase of 7.5% on the same period of 2003. Almost half of that housing (1.7 million square metres) was built by dwellers for their own account and on credit.


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