#5 - JRL 7238
RUSSIA IS ONE OF THE WORLD LEADERS IN TERMS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH RATES
MOSCOW, June 24, 2003. /from a RIA Novosti correspondent/ -- The yearly GDP growth in Russia is way ahead of the corresponding indicators in industrially-developed countries. Such conclusion is contained in the special Review of Social and Economic Development of Russia prepared by the RF Ministry of Economic Development.
The review reports that the GDP growth rate in Russia during the first quarter of 2003 increased by 6.8 percent compared with the first quarter of 2002. The same indicator in the USA was 2.1 percent, in countries of Euro-zone - 0.8 percent and in Japan - 2.5 percent.
"According to the rate of economic growth, Russia has established a firm position among the world leaders in the recent years," assert the experts from the ministry.
The increase in production occurred largely due to the stimulating growth of the external, and especially internal demand in the recent months, the experts believe.
For instance, in January-March of 2003, the income from the export of goods, according to the data from the Ministry of Economic Development, was US $40.3 billion. It's a 33-percent increase compared to the same period of last year. Aside from the oil and gas, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy industries, most of the manufacturing industry branches, including engineering industry and metal-working industry, have also been on the rise. The production volume in this sphere increased by 7.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2002, the review reports.
The volume of imports has also increased. In January-May of this year, it was worth US $21 billion and showed a 20-percent increase compared to the same period of 2002.
The monthly balance of international trade in January-May was about US $5 billion on an average, which is much higher than last year and can be compared to the record level of 2000, the review underlines.
The ministry also reports a record increase in Bank of Russia's gold reserves - as of June 13, they were estimated at US $63.6 billion.