USSR PUBLICATION OF ECONOMIC DATA (S-5359) (WITH ATTACHED PAPER)

Created: 8/15/1973

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

ISTORICAL mm! PROGRAM ROBS-EAS8

3

KEiWHAKDOf! FOR: liargnrot D. Dray

rinmetal Economist -Planning oncl Kaccarch Division, Expert-linrtort isanlc.

USSR Publication of Economic Data

The attached oaocr, USrsR: Publication of Bcenoiide Data, withables, woe"rosoor.so to 'your. request of

If you have nnv cunstions regarding it3 contonto, olcaso contact i*

'j state)

USSR: Publication of Economic Data

1. Balance of Payments Data

The USSR does not publish balance of payments data other than that relating to the trade account. Trade data are contained in the annual foreign trade statisticalVneshnyaya Torgovlya SSSR (Poreign Trade of thehis handbook contains statistics on Soviet exports and importsountry-by-commodity basis and commodity-by-countryess detailed basis. The handbook is generally available in July or August covering the previous year's trade.

The handbook's usefulness has been somewhat limited, and has been becoming even more so because of omissions of merchandise trade data. The destination% of Soviet exports to non-Communist countries is not shown. Thecompositionf Soviet exports to the world is not given; to Easterno the Developed Westnd to the less developed countries Soviet exports of diamonds and platinum group metals (mainly to non-Communist countries) are not shown in Soviet trade statistics. Since the, exports of nickel have not been included;8 the handbook has lumped oil and oil products together in the country-by-commodity tables. In2 handbook the USSR failed to include any statistics on grain trade!

More than three-fourths of Soviet trade is conductedlearing account basis (with other Communist countries and with most LDCs). Trade with most of the Developed Western countries and some of the.LDCs is in hard currencies. (See Tables showing Soviet trade2 inA). Export surpluses in clearing accounts cannot be used to offset deficits in hard currency trade.* It is more meaningful to construct separate balances of payments for Soviet hard currency trade, clearing currency trade with non-communist countries, trade with COMECON countries, and trade with other Communist countries.

a negligible volume of switch transactions.

In CIA's view, only the USSR's payments position in hard currency is relevant in assessing the financial strength of the USSR ond hence its creditworthiness. Because the USSR does not publish nonmerchandise trade data, it is necessary to estimate these elements in the current and capital account. CIA estimates are derivedide variety of sources. These include specialized publications on East-West trade; OECD and UN statistics on trado and other items such as tourism-statistical information published by the IMF, the Bank for International Settlements he departments of Treasury and Corccerco, and other sources. CIA has made estimates on tourism, interest payments, transportation, and certain other current account transactions, but only in hard currencies. The same holds true for elements of the capital account. Estimates of the USSR's hard currency balance of payments12 are in Attachment B.

Sources of information on nonmerchandiso elements of the Soviet balance of paymentsis the Communist countries, including the COMECON area, ore virtually nonexistent. We have some notion of credits and loans extended by the USSR or to the USSR by these countries, but we cannot estimate theof drawings and repayments with any reasonable degree of accuracy. With respect to the LDCs, you may findecent State Department publication, "Communist States and Developing Countries: Aid and Trade" datodnd released by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

2. External Debt and Debt Service Payments

The USSR does not provide information on the size of its external debt or its debt service payments. CIA estimates of Soviet debt and debt service in terms of hard currencies12 are as follows (millions of US dollars) :

end of

service

service

(%)

estimates relate only to Westernicredits. They exclude all short-

term credits and nonguaranteed medium-term credits. The latter probably were negligible We are not aware Of any rescheduling of the USSR's external debt, but such rescheduling cannot be ruled out.

Estimates are based in the main on Soviet trade data (imports of machinery and equipment from the West),in the Communist and non-Communist press and periodicals of Western credit extensions and capital goods contact?

scatteredderived from publications

or the bis. Treasury, Commerce, ond othor sources. There tested0 Classified aources against which our estimates are

and Foreign Exchange Reserves

The USSR docs not publish nor in any way provides information on its gold and foreign exchange reserves. Nor does it provide any information on gold production or gold sales. 1 contains perhaps one of the most reliable, unclassified Western studies on Soviet gold production and sales. The book was published by Walker and Company (New York and the author of the Soviet section is Michael Kaser, its Linrary of Congress number isL7. The study reportedly is being or has been updated to2 data. Information on gold sales is derived from IMF and BIS roports.

The official Soviet position with respect to foreiqn exchange is that only enough is held to assure "maneuverabilitv in foreignorking balance. In view of the

?fr?is assumed that about

on would be an absolute minimum. This would include funds held by the USSR Foreign Trade Bank as well a5 Soviet-owned banks in the Kost.

GNP

The Soviets measure their national income accordinq to Marxist concepts, which differ significantly from Western practice. The closest Soviet measure to GNP is its concept of national income, which excludes "unproductive" activityepreciation and the value of various "unproductive"

dtio?al iTxconc (Harxist concept) using Soviet derived dollar values isf the CIA estimate of GNP.

CIA estimated values of Soviet GNP, in billions1 US dollars, are presented below, along with Soviet estimates of national income:

1 GNP

Soviet National Income (USSR)

National income and other internal accounts are published annually in the USSR in Narodnoye Khozyaystvo SSSR (National Economy of the USSR). This statisticalis available to the public, but there is usuallyne-year2 data are usually not available until ocket-size handbook,sifrakh (The USSR in Numbers) is usually available in about April,generally does not provide any more detailed information than Is available in the annual plan fulfillment report usually published in January in several Soviet newspapers (Pravda, Izvestiy.', and others). The USSR also publishes quarterly plan "fulrillment reports in these same newspapers but usually only in the form of percentage increases over the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

-4-

Attachment A

USSR Foreign0

Million $VS*/

countries COMECON

other

7

t counard currency Clearing nspecified^/

7

0

toillion. Converted from rubles

at the rate. Chiefly military-related exports to tho LDCs.

Attachment A

USSR Foreign1

Million SOS-/

countries COMECON

other

5

countries Hard currency-Clearing Unspecified

&

0

8

- hounded toillion. Converted iron rubles

at the rate. b. Chiefly military-related exports to the LDCs.

Attachment A

USSR Foreign2

Million SUS3/

Total

Communist countries COMECON Other

Non-Communist countries Hard currency Clearing Unspecified

Exports

7

7

toillion. Converted from

at the rate

Chiefly military-related exports to the LDCs.

Attachment B

Estimated Soviet Hard Currency Balance of Million US S

and services

1

Merchandise,ransportation, net Travel

Interest payments-Transfer payments-/

370

Capital and monetary gold

Medium and long-term

700

payments

Net errors and omissions

0

?s

40

1

CreoTt

0 96

302

700

15

274

i

43

1

Credit

-

from official Soviet statistics.

available.

payments are those made on medium and long-tormWestern countries mainly to financa imports of machinery

made in hard currency to the United Nations and

payments of principle and interest in accordance withlend-lease; "pipeline" agreement. Payments are based onaverage of total given as paid at the time of" thoof lend-leaco differences

changes in hard currency holdings andmovements.

Original document.

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