#3 - JRL 7239
June 25, 2003
Russian GDP Growth Leaves USA Behind
The situation in the Russian economy is improving
The growth of the Russian GDP outstrips industrially developed countries at present. This conclusion was made by the Russian Ministry for Economic Development and Trade as a result of the survey in the field of the social and economic development of the Russian Federation.
According to the survey, the GDP increased in Russia over the first quarter of the current year by 6,8 percent against the adequate period of the previous year. The index reached the level of 2,1 percent in the USA, 0,8 percent in the EU and 2,5 percent in Japan. "From the point of view of the economic development, Russia is included on the list of the world leaders," specialists of the ministry believe. The situation in the Russian economy was improving in April-May of 2003, which was the continuation of the positive trend that appeared in the beginning of the year. The volume of the industrial output gained 6,7 percent since the beginning of 2003. The population's income and the amount of consumed goods were growing too together with the investment activity in the economy.
The industrial growth occurred on account of the positive dynamics of the external and domestic demand. The ministry for economic development and trade made up $40,3 billion in January-May of 2003, which was 1/3 as much as during the same period of the last year. In addition to the fuel industry, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, the economic rise embraced the majority of processing branches, including machine-building and metal working: the production volume of the industry gained 7,5 percent in comparison with the level of January-May of 2002. The import of goods is described with the positive dynamics too. Imports made up $21 billion in January-May of 2003, having exceeded the same period of 2002 by 20 percent.
Specialists of the ministry also said that the real strengthening of the Russian ruble against the American dollar made up 9,1 percent. The negative influence of this factor on the competitive ability of the Russian goods has smoothed out a little against the favorable dynamics of the euro. The reduction of the ruble against the euro made up only 3,6 percent over five months.
The foreign trade balance in January-May made up about $5 billion over a month, which was a lot higher than a year ago. The ministry also stressed out the record growth of the gold and forex reserve of the Bank of Russia: the reserve made up $63,6 billion as of June 13th.