GOVERNMENT HOPES TO RESTRAIN ANNUAL INFLATION AT 10%

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MOSCOW, May 20 (RIA Novosti) - According to the Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref, inflation has grown by 6.5% over the first four months of 2005 which is 40% more than in the same period of 2004. Gref announced this at the meeting with President Vladimir Putin at his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo (the Moscow region). Accordingly, the government hopes to restrain the annual inflation at the fixed 10% level (in 2004, inflation totaled 11.7% while the original forecast was 10%). The GDP growth over this period amounted to 5.3%. "The GDP grew by 0.6% as compared to March 2005 and by 6.1% as compared to April 2004," German Gref said.

"Industrial growth is 0.1% as compared to January-March 2005 and 5% as compared to April 2004," he added.

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