Government Official Says Economic Growth In Russia Is Unsteady

Despite the fact that over the past 9 months the economy of Russia had been demonstrating an unprecedented rate of growth, which has not slowed down so far, the structure of this growth gives some troublesome signals. Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Arkady Dvorkovich gave this opinion at a conference on corporate development within the framework of the Securities Market Forum. He pointed out that these signals deal with the unevenness of growth in various economic sectors. Thus, according to the deputy minister, the oil, chemical and petrochemical industries, as well as machine-building and the food industry are growing. "Other industries remain on earlier levels or are even in decline," he underlined. Additionally, in Dvorkovich's view, the fact that the growth in consumer demand is based not on an increase in incomes, but first of all, on 'eating away' savings, is a troublesome signal. All these factors mean that the present economic growth in Russia is unsteady and is partly due to a fast rise in the volume of import, the deputy minister emphasized. In his view, in order to cope with this worrying situation, it is necessary to boost reforms in the financial sector, which should become a mechanism for transforming savings into investments. In this connection, Dvorkovich expressed hope that a specific program of measures would replace the current banking reform strategy, which in his opinion, is rather unclear.

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