Russian economic growth rate may exceed 4 per cent in 2002

Experts of the UN Economic Commission for Europe hold the view that Russia's economic growth rate this year may exceed 4 per cent, and next year can surpass the indicators for 2002 given the current level of oil prices.

This forecast is contained in the regular economic survey of the Commission published in Geneva the day before.

The survey also states the increasing positive influence on the economy of such factors as progress on the way to macroeconomic stability, the continuing economic reforms, and the favourable external financial positions, which, alongside everything else, reduces international investors' sense of risk.

Mainly the growth of domestic demand, primarily of personal consumption, remains the motive force of the upswing in Russia. In this connection, the survey points out, in particular, that in the first half of the year the real personal incomes increased by approximately 10 per cent in Russia.

As chief of the department of countries with a transitional economy Roman Dobrinski told RIA Novosti, today it is safe to say that the process of declining production which lasted in some CIS countries for nearly a decade is, on the whole, over, and all the countries have entered a period of rehabilitation and growth of the economy.

According to the forecasts by the Commission's experts, the aggregate national product of the CIS countries will increase by 4.5 per cent this year, while the growth rate will somewhat drop next year.

The rapid economic growth will be maintained in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan which have gained from the massive inflow of direct foreign investments into the sectors linked with energy resources. At the same time, the authors of the survey note that the economic growth rates of Ukraine (5 per cent) and Belarus (more than 6 per cent), set by their governments for this year, may be hard to attain.

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