Kasyanov says GDP growth rate will be 3.9% instead of projected 3.6% in 2002

The Russian GDP growth rate will exceed the projected figure of 3.6 percentthis year and will reach 3.9 percent, while the industrial output will be4.5 percent, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said today at theopening of a government meeting. The Prime Minister was quoted as saying"the decrease in the GDP growth rate posted early this year is thuscompensated for". According to the Prime Minister, the primary task todayis "securing the target figures of the suppressed inflation rate". Kasyanovwas quoted as saying in January-August 2002 the inflation rate was 9.9percent, while in the first decade of September it was 0 percent. Accordingto the Prime Minister, it points to the fact that "the goal of pushing theinflation rate down to 14 percent is correct". Kasyanov also believes thatwith such growth rates the government will have the possibility to boostconsumer income by 7, not 5 percent. The Prime Minister pointed out that "the reduction of the inflation rate isevidence of a decrease in interest rates in the economy, which in turn willlead to the improved investment climate". At the same time, Kasyanov saidthat the negative factor that might frustrate these expectations was themisbalance of the federal budget expenditures. Therefore the Chairman ofthe Russian government called for the ministers to control the expendituresof the corresponding agencies and make them well-balanced in order toprevent an outburst of expenses at the end of this year. In conclusion, thePrime Minister added that it was necessary to eliminate the misbalance inthe federal budget in 2002. .

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