Technological and Economic Indicators

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Technological and Economic Indicators


a system of indicators characterizing the material and technological base of enterprises or production associations and providing information on the overall use of resources. The indicators are used in planning and evaluating the organization of production and labor, the level of technology, the quality of output, and the utilization of fixed assets, working capital, and labor resources. They are the basis on which the technical, industrial, and financial plan of an enterprise is worked out and the progressive technological and economic norms and planned standards are established. There are general (common) indicators applicable to all enterprises and economic sectors, as well as specific indicators reflecting the special features of particular sectors.

General indicators include the power (mechanical, electric) available per worker, the extent of electrification in industry, the level of mechanization, and the extent to which production is specialized. Among the indicators used to evaluate the level of mechanization are the proportion of workers performing mechanized operations, the share of mechanized labor in the total labor input, and the extent to which the production processes are mechanized and automated. The degree of specialization of industrial production is characterized by the relative importance of the specialized production of a particular sector in the overall output of a certain type of product, the degree to which an enterprise or sector concerns itself with producing its main item, the quantity of groups, types, and varieties of products (homogeneous in design and produced in similar fashion) turned out by the enterprises in a given sector, and the share in the total volume of production held by centralized enterprises and shops that specialize in individual parts, units, or semifinished articles. For a fuller characterization of the extent of specialization in production, such indicators of the organizational and technological level of production are used as the extent to which lot production is employed, the presence of automated or specialized equipment in the general equipment pool, and the proportion of standardized or unitized parts and units.

The specific technological and economic indicators employed in a sector are chosen in accordance with the procedures and plans of that sector. For example, in the generation of electric power, four factors are taken into account in determining the consumption of standard fuel for 1 kilowatt-hour of electric energy and 1 gram calorie of heat energy. The first is the increase in the proportion of highly efficient equipment for steam with high and superhigh parameters in the overall production of electric power at thermal power plants. The second is the growth in output of electric power in relation to the consumption of heat energy. The third factor is the increase in the thermal efficiency of the production units, and the fourth is the change in the proportions of mazut and gas used at thermal power plants.

In metallurgy, there are indicators for the utilization of blast furnaces (the degree to which productive capacity is utilized; the coefficient of use of the working volume of blast furnaces during a nominal 24-hour period) and the utilization of steel-smelting units (the extent to which the productive capacity is utilized). For open-hearth furnaces, an additional indicator is used for the output of steel per sq m of hearth during a calendar day; for basic oxygen process furnaces, the additional indicator is the average daily smelting of steel per ton of capacity. In the railroad industry, the indicator used is the average daily productivity of a freight car from the working pool, measured in net ton-kilometers per standard four-axle car.

A system of general indicators is used to assess the technological and economic level of production and output. These indicators include the proportion of output wherein the technological and economic indicators either outpace or equal the highest achievements of Soviet and foreign science and technology, the proportion of goods that are obsolete and subject to either modernization or withdrawal from production, and the proportion of goods whose production is being undertaken in the USSR for the first time and which are to be produced for up to three years. Other general indicators are the degree of mechanization and automation of labor (the number of workers doing jobs by completely mechanized means; the number of workers to be transferred during the period encompassed by a plan from manual labor to mechanized or automated labor in basic and auxiliary industries), the absolute and relative reduction in the number of workers, and the reduction in prime costs and growth in labor productivity resulting from an increase in the technological level of production.

Specific indicators of the technological and economic level of production characterize the qualitative and structural changes in output, for example, the average grade of cement, and the level of the technological base in a particular sector and the utilization of equipment, for example, the coefficient of use of the working volume of blast furnaces. Specific indicators also characterize the quantity of material consumed in production (consumption of standard fuel per kilowatt-hour of energy produced), the productivity of labor expressed in other than monetary terms (output of oil, coal, or natural gas per worker), and the volume of output produced with highly efficient technological processes and advanced equipment (smelting of steel by the continuous method).

The extent to which fixed assets and productive capacity are utilized is characterized by the following technological and economic indicators: the indicator of extensive utilization (the time the fixed assets are actually used divided by the maximum possible use time); the indicator of intensive utilization (the actual quantity of goods produced per unit time divided by the maximum possible use time of the fixed assets); and the indicator of integrated utilization (the product of the first two indicators). The indicators used in economic analysis include the coefficient for shifts of operating equipment, the extent to which the total time within a shift is utilized, and the presence of surplus or uninstalled equipment.

A clear system of technological and economic indicators for the various sectors of industry, in combination with established methods for the indicators’ calculation, makes possible a systematic comparison of the technological and organizational levels of various enterprises, a discovery of unused resources within production units, and an improvement in the drafting of short-term and long-term plans.


Metodicheskie ukazaniia k razrabotke gosudarstvennykh planov razvitita narodnogo khoziaistvo SSSR. Moscow, 1974.
Smirnitskii, E. K. Ekonomicheskie pokazateli promyshlennosti. Moscow, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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