The basis for the development of planning, program and forecast documents are indicators that allow to comprehensively describe social and economic processes and phenomena, to form, present and justify the tasks of the plan, program, forecast for the projected period.
An indicator is a qualitative and quantitative representation of an object: a socio-economic process, a phenomenon. The qualitative side of the indicator reflects the essence and belonging of the object by place and time, and the quantitative side gives the object quantitative certainty.
Indicators that act as the main measure of the state of the object are called criteria. For example, the criterion of efficiency of labor productivity reflects the measure of the economic effect obtained at the cost of living labor. The maximum profit, minimum labor costs, etc. The criterion of optimality is an indicator expressing the maximum measure of the economic effect of the decision made for a comparative assessment of possible solutions (alternative options) and the choice of the best of them.
When developing planning and forecast documents at all levels of the management hierarchy, as a rule, not a single indicator is used, but a system of interrelated and complementary indicators. When forming a scorecard, the following requirements must be met:
indicators should reveal the essence and content of the object (process, phenomenon); comprehensively reflect the features of the object of the corresponding level of the hierarchy from the point of view of its material and cost state; comply with the goals and objectives of socio-economic development, social orientation of the national economy; focus on a more complete and efficient use of resources, improving the quality of work in all links and spheres of social production; have methodological unity and comparability with the indicators of accounting and statistics, the system of national accounts; have the ability to aggregate and disaggregate; be flexible and adaptive, which provides the possibility of forming, firstly, a system of indicators, and secondly, the possibility of entering a higher or lower order system.
Depending on the content and direction of use, the totality of indicators used in planning and forecasting can be grouped as follows:
natural and valuable;
quantitative and qualitative;
absolute and relative;
approved and calculated;
indicative and reference;
synthetic and individual.
Natural indicators characterize the material and material side of production, consumer properties of products (services), its quality. They make it possible to establish a correspondence between the volume of production of products (services) in its material and material form and the need for it, intra-industry and intersectoral relations, directions of movement of commodity flows. Natural indicators are measured in physical units (tons, meters, kilometers, pieces, etc.).
Due to the variety of types and types of products (services) that have the same purpose, conditionally natural indicators are used. They are established by bringing this manifold to a single measure through conversion factors. For example, all fuels can be represented in a conditional calculus based on the calorific value of each type.
Cost indicators express the aggregate results of the reproduction process in monetary terms: the production of gross domestic product, incomes and expenses of enterprises, the volume of products sold, depreciation of fixed assets, etc. It is the cost indicators that ensure mutual coordination of all sections of forecasts, plans, programs, allow to determine the scale and structure of the national economy, its individual industries and regions, to establish the most important general economic, intersectoral, sectoral and territorial proportions, etc.
Quantitative indicators directly characterize the quantitative results of the production or development of social infrastructure sectors. They can be voluminous and networked. Volume indicators reflect the processes of production: the volume of products, capital works, etc. Network – the development of social infrastructure, for example, a network of preschool institutions, educational institutions, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.
Qualitative indicators characterize the qualitative side of the economic phenomenon, process, production efficiency, quality of work or usefulness of products. They are divided into two groups: technical and economic indicators. The first are used to express the degree of efficiency of the use of certain types of means and objects of labor, working time (indicators of the consumption of raw materials, materials, fuel per unit of production, equipment productivity, use of production facilities, etc.). Economic indicators characterize the efficiency of the use of labor and financial resources: the level of costs of social labor, the degree of efficiency of production (indicators of labor productivity, production and circulation costs, profitability, etc.).
Absolute and relative indicators differ in the nature of their presentation. Absolute indicators represent the quantitative parameters of the object: the volume of production of products, services, the number of preschool institutions, the number of students, etc. They can represent the object (process, phenomenon) both in physical and value terms. Relative indicators represent the object in relative values (in percentage of growth or increase in production volume, in specific gravity). They represent a volume relative to a certain base.
The approved indicators are established by higher authorities and communicated to lower ones. They are mandatory and targeted. These are indicators of the state budget (republican, local), state order, prices for socially significant products, etc. In the transition to market relations, the range of approved indicators is limited.
Calculated indicators are used for additional characteristics of the object (process, phenomenon), as well as to justify the approved indicators; their character is auxiliary.
Indicative indicators – act as indicators (main parameters) that characterize socio-economic processes and phenomena, and are used in the formation of indicative plans, programs. Indicators of socio-economic development can be indicators characterizing the dynamics, structure, efficiency of the economy, the state of finance, etc. Indicators are advisory in nature.
Reference (informational) are various kinds of analytical indicators such as: “per capita”, “10,000 population”, etc. For example, gross domestic product per capita, the number of pharmacies per 10,000 population, etc.
Depending on the degree of coverage of economic processes, indicators are divided into integral, synthetic and private. Synthetic ones reflect complex phenomena. Acting as a result of the interaction of many economic, scientific, technical and other factors, summarize the results of production or distribution. These include: gross social product, national income, gross national product, etc. Individual indicators express individual, specific economic or social phenomena.
Depending on the use of indicators in the regulation of economic development by the state, their totality can be represented through such groups: indicators, state order (see 2.4), limits and standards. The first two groups have been discussed above.
A limit is an indicator of the maximum allowable amount of resource costs to achieve certain goals. For example, the established maximum size of state centralized capital investments for the development of intersectoral production and the solution of particularly important problems. Limits are set, as a rule, on acutely scarce resources, the most significant for the country’s economy.
Standards are indicators in relative terms. They are established for the deduction of enterprises’ funds to the state and local budgets, the formation of various funds of funds. The standards are tax rates on value added, export and import, income and profit, etc. The normative indicators also include efficiency coefficients.
The system of indicators of planning and forecasting changes depending on the conditions of the economy, the goals and objectives of the planned (forecasted) period.