17 Aug 2009 18:45

Russian industry falls 10.8% in July, better than forecast

MOSCOW. Aug 17 (Interfax) - Russian industrial output fell 10.8% year-on-year in July, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said.

This is not as bad as the 12.7% drop that analysts predicted in a consensus forecast for Interfax forecast at the end of July.

Industry grew 4.7% in July compared with June 2009.

It fell 14.2% year-on-year in January-July 2009.

The drop in output in July was the lowest for the year. Prior to this, the lowest decrease was in February at 12.1%. The largest decrease was posted in May at 17.1%.

In July, a low comparison base continued to have an effect, which was reflected in June's results. In the first summer months of 2008, the increase in industrial output was low at around 0.93% and 3.2%, respectively.

A decrease in industrial output was again posted for July in all areas of economic activity. At the same time, the decrease in the production and manufacturing sectors slowed while production and distribution of electricity, gas and water went up.

Extraction of usable resources decreased in July by 1.6% against the same period of 2008 (the drop in June stood at 4%), manufacturing production dropped by 14.7% (in June by 16%) and production and distribution of electricity, gas and water fell by 9% (in June by 7.9%).

In July, car production continued to decrease substantially (by 55.9% against July 2009). However, this figure increased by 3.1% in comparison with June 2008. Brick production in July went down by 38.8%, reinforced concrete - 44.3% and cement - 6.6%.

Production of finished roll from ferrous metals dropped by 12.9% year-on-year in July. Production of coke fell by 11.3% while steel tube output shrank by 25%.

Initial oil refinement went up by 1.3% in July against a decrease of 1.8% in June. Production of gasoline dropped by 0.4% as diesel fuel output slipped by 0.1%.

Production of oil and gas condensate in January-July came to 284 million tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 0.3% (with growth in July at 1.4%), gas output - 315 billion cubic meters (down 20.2% for the seven months and 16.4% in June), iron ore - 50.7 million tonnes (down by 19.5% and 11.8%, respectively) and coal - 161 million tonnes (down 14.1% and 7.6%, respectively).

Electricity output in Russia in January-July 2009 came to 567 billion kilowatt hours (down 6.2% against January-July 2008 including 6.8% in July) and heat energy - 802 Gcal (down by 1.7%, including 8.9% in June).

A consensus forecast of analysts puts the decrease in industrial production at 10.2% in 2009, which is more optimistic than the Economic Development Ministry's forecast, which foresees a decrease of 12.5%.