Deputy Economy Ministry comments on economic landmarks

Orientation of the Russian economy's development towards consumer demand is possible in the event investments go up, First Deputy Economy Minister of Russia Ivan Materov reported at a press conference today. According to his data, the increase in retail trade turnover will be about 9 percent in Russia in 2002. However, he pointed out that there has been a misbalance in 2002. The growth of real incomes has taken place due to a faster growth of salaries as compared to the productivity of labor.

In Materov's opinion, this was due to a slower advance in investments against GDP growth, which was partly caused by a reduction of exemptions for investment activities. "However, the growth of citizens' wealth and of the domestic market is possible only if investments would grow faster, eventually contributing to the stabilization of the market in general," Materov concluded.

He called it a positive trend that beginning with the second half of 2002, export growth was parallel with import growth. Materov also pointed out that the share of Russian goods in the structure of consumer demand had been growing. This is testified to by the intensive growth of the food industry. "The implementation of the concept of diversifying the Russian economy toward consumer demand, instead of raw material exports, has been started," the official believes.

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