Russian economy makes progress. Russia can stay without extra foreign loans

The Russian economy registered the most impressive successes last year over the entire 1990-2000 period. This was stated here today at a session of the board of this country's Economic Development and Trade Ministry. A rather substantial $61-billion-plus foreign-trade surplus, as well as a sustained federal-budget surplus, made it possible to service the state's external debts without any additional foreign loans. The Central Bank of Russia took advantage of that well-balanced federal budget, also using specific monetary-crediting instruments rather appropriately. As a result, inflation was curbed, thus failing to exert a serious impact on the economy. Besides, monetary reserves continued to swell. The board also noted that imports had been halved last year on pre-crisis levels, what with domestic producers enjoying additional opportunities in their work, RIA Novosti reports. The Russian GDP swelled by nearly 8 percent last year on 1999 levels, thus constituting the main parameter of national socio-economic development. Industrial output increased by 9 percent, what with basic-capital investment swelling by over 17 percent. Russian exports swelled by an impressive 38 percent last year on 1999 levels, with imports increasing by 11 percent.