Russia's economic performance improves

The Russian government has noted the improvement of the country's economic performance.

2004 inflation will not surpass 10%, acting Vice-Premier Alexander Zhukov said at a meeting between the cabinet members and the president on Monday.

"Russia is, thus far, meeting the forecasts for 2004: price advance is unlikely to surpass 10%," said Mr Zhukov.

Within January-April, industrial output grew 7.4% compared to the same period in 2003, according to Mr Zhukov.

Machine-building and metal-working industries have grown the most dramatically - 15%. The building materials sector grew 10%, the food industry - 8%, the chemical and petrochemical industry - by 10%.

"The growth structure is not due to high oil prices," emphasized Mr Zhukov. Growth was noticeable in industries envisaging a high degree of processing.

Consumer prices over January-April grew 4.6%, Mr Zhukov said citing the figure for the same period last year - 6.2%.

"These set adequate conditions for further economic growth," said the acting vice-premier.

Economic growth somewhat slowed down in March but resumed later. April's growth into March constituted 0.7%-0.8%.

Industrial output went up 6.7% over the first four months of 2003, said Mr Zhukov.

Population's incomes increased 12.2% within January-April, while investment increased 12.6% against the similar period in 2003, according to Mr Zhukov.

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