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Russian GDP growth in 2006 could hit 6.1% with $60 oil price


MOSCOW, November 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russian GDP growth in 2006 could reach 6.1% if Russian oil is sold at $60 per barrel, the Central Bank said Friday.

The forecast was included in the amended version "Guidelines for Monetary Policy in 2006" document published by the Central Bank.

The document was signed by Central Bank head Sergei Ignatiev, and will be submitted for review to the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, during the second half of November, and discussed at a plenary session at the beginning of December.

The revised document contains a fourth version of the macroeconomic forecast based on a Urals crude oil price of $60 per barrel. The three previous forecasts had been based on prices of $28, $40, and $50.

The document predicts a rise in the price of energy products on the world market in 2006.

Export goods and services in 2006 will lead to growth in the active balance of trade. "We can expect a substantial rise in currency reserves, 1.7 times the level in 2005," the Central Bank predicts.

Domestic and external conditions could support further expansion of domestic demand. "Real disposable incomes among the population could exceed last year's level by 9.3%," according to the document.

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