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#2 - JRL 7254
Russian ministry raises GDP growth forecast even further

Moscow, 17 July: The Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has upwardly revised the official forecast for Russia's GDP in 2003 to 5.9 per cent, the ministry's press service told Interfax on Thursday [17 July].

The ministry earlier planned to increase the official forecast of economic growth from 4.6 per cent to 5.7 per cent. Thus, the official forecast has proven to be even more optimistic than was expected.

This forecast has been cleared with the Finance Ministry.

The outlook for industrial production growth has remained the same at 5.8 per cent. The forecast for investment growth has been increased from 9 per cent to 9.2 per cent.

According to the ministry's estimations, Russia's GDP grew 7.2 per cent in the first half of 2003, industrial production by 6.8 per cent, and investments in fixed assets rose by 11.9 per cent.

In 2002, Russia's GDP grew by 4.3 per cent.

[Note: Interfax news agency, Moscow, in English 1106 gmt 16 Jul 03 reported Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref telling the press that day that the Russian economy ministry had increased its GDP growth forecast for 2003 from 4.6 per cent to 5.7 per cent]

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