German Gref: Russia's GDP growth in first five months makes up 7.1%

In the first five months of 2003, GDP growth made up 7.1 percent and the industrial output growth - 6.7 percent, Russian Minister of Trade and Economic Development German Gref told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a routine meeting between the Russian President and the Cabinet.

Moreover, according to German Gref, incomes of Russian citizens have increased by 14.5 percent in the first five months of 2003.

In comparison with April, industrial output growth in May was 0.8 percent and GDP growth - 0.5 percent.

According to Mr. Gref, "a certain growth has been registered in all industry sectors except agriculture, light and electric technical industry." Metal processing industry is developing rapidly, German Gref said.

Mr. Gref described the 11-percent growth of investments in Russia in the beginning of 2003 as very positive.

Accumulated inflation during this period made up 7.1 percent, last year it was 8.4 percent in the same period.

Mr. Gref does not think the inflation rate will increase in the latter half of 2003, as the tariffs for the natural monopolies' services are fully controlled.

Vladimir Putin drew Mr. Gref's attention to the fact that it was necessary for the Russian State Duma (the Lower Chamber) to settle the issue concerning a decrease or withdrawal of obligatory foreign currency revenues sale.

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