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#19 - JRL 7036
Slowdown in Russian industrial growth expected to continue in 2003 

Moscow, 27 January: Russia should see a rise in industrial output of from 3.2 per cent to 4.1 per cent in 2003, Deputy Science, Industry and Technology Minister Vladimir Fridlyanov told Interfax.

"Industrial production went up just 3.7 per cent from the previous year in 2002, although the rise was 4.9 per cent in 2001 and 11.9 per cent in 2000, showing that industrial production growth is slowing," he said.

The slowdown is largely due to a significant rate of fixed production asset wear and low innovation activity, caused by increased company spending due to a rise in prices for natural monopoly products and services, Fridlyanov said. This is slowing fixed capital investment and is one of the reasons behind the low competitiveness of domestic goods.

Other important factors are the unsatisfactory condition of the extraction base for certain minerals and production industry infrastructure (including
transport) and the impact of the foreign economic situation on the development of export-oriented sectors.

Source: Interfax news agency, Moscow, in English 1422 gmt 27 Jan 03
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