Russian Economy Development Scenarios for 2004 and till 2006 Submitted to Government

The Russian Economic Development Ministry and the Trade Ministry in compliance with the Prime Minister's instructions amended and submitted to the government scenarios of the country's economic development for 2004 and till 2006, Deputy Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told journalists on Wednesday.

The document contains two basic variants of conditions for economic development. They proceed from the average annual oil price in 2004 equalling either $18.5 or $22 per barrel, he said. Accordingly, the forecast GDP growth in 2004 will be 3.8 percent or 4.7 percent respectively. The inflation in 2004 is forecast at 8-10 percent.

The document worked out by the Ministry also contains a third, emergency variant, based on the average annual oil price of $13 per barrel, Dvorkovich added. For this variant the Ministry presented just a general forecast without detailed calculations, as it had been instructed to give details only to the most plausible variants, he pointed out.

Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told journalists he considered the scenarios presented by the Economic Development Ministry quite realistic. "They are not made in a month or a year, there are models, and they take into account analysts' opinions," he explained.