MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Cabinet is gathering for a regular session tomorrow. Central Bank experts will address it with an alternative forecast of next year's economic situation. It somewhat differs from a forecast by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

The session of August 19 will analyze macroeconomic prognostication for 2005. An informed government functionary addressed Novosti with related figures.

For its most optimistic scenario, the Central Bank proceeds from a world petroleum price of $31 a barrel, and $123 a thousand cubic meters of natural gas. The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade is more circumspect about oil prices, and proceeds from $28 a barrel for its best-possible forecast.

Russia will increase its gross domestic product by 6.5%, says the Central Bank, while the ministry is forecasting 6.3%.

The bank forecasts a 6.5-8% inflation rate, and the more skeptical ministry 8-9%, with annual average currency rates at a respective $1/R29.5 and $1/R30.

Capital investment in fixed assets will grow by 11%, says the bank. The increase will be 9.8%, argues the ministry.

Respective forecasts of the population's real incomes are at 9.5% and 9%.

The Central Bank is also more optimistic than the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade for next year's increase of industrial output-6% against 5.5%.

"On the whole, Central Bank forecasts look much better than the ministry's-but that does not mean they are more reliable," remarked our informant. The bank is willing to analyze whatever forecasts ministerial experts will offer, he added.

As the interviewee expects, the Cabinet will come up at tomorrow's session with a call to coordinate all available economic forecasts before Monday, August 23, to offer them to the State Duma, parliament's lower house, in a package with next year's draft federal budget.

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