Duma official forecasts 2003 inflation

The inflation will exceed the level planned by the government and may amount to 15-16 percent this year, Vladimir Nikitin, the head of the State Duma commission for foreign debts, said in an interview with RBC.

According to the government forecasts, the inflation is to be 10-12 percent in 2003.

The deputy believes that monetary factors still influence the inflation, due to the inflow of a large amount of dollars. Tariff policies of natural monopolies also play an important role. He pointed out that in a number of regions, the growth in rates of natural monopolies has already exceeded the level stipulated by corresponding laws.