Russia's 6.6% economic growth so far in 2003 buoys government hopes

Gross domestic product for the first 10 months of 2003 is up 6.6% from the same period a year ago. The figure came from Arkady Dvorkovich, the deputy minister of economic development and trade, at a press briefing, Rosbalt reported. Dvorkovich said the ministry would, over the next two days, be revising upward its forecast of growth in gross domestic product for 2003. He noted that the ministry had forecast growth of 5.9%.

Inflation is up 9.7% in the first 10 months of 2003. Dvorkovich noted that there are no grounds at this time to review the original inflation forecast for the year (12%-14%). 'If inflation tops these limits, it will not be by much,' the deputy minister said. He also said that the first 10 days of November had seen inflation of .25% for a sampling of commodities.

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