Ministry raises 2007 GDP growth forecast from 6% to 6.2%

MOSCOW, December 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's economics ministry has raised its forecast for GDP growth in 2007 from 6% to 6.2%, a senior official said Wednesday.

The government's budget commission will discuss Thursday an updated forecast of Russia's major macro-economic indices for 2007-2010.

Andrei Klepach, director of the ministry's consolidated department of macro-economic forecasting, said the ministry has raised its GDP growth figure from 5.8% to 5.9% for 2008 and from 5.9% to 6% for 2009. In 2010, GDP is expected to grow 6.1%, Klepach said.

In 2006, Russia's GDP growth is expected at 7%.

Inflation in Russia may slightly exceed the planned figure of 9% in 2006, Klepach said.

"We'll either comply with 9% or slightly exceed this figure," he said.

In 2005, inflation in Russia stood at 10.9%.

The inflation forecast for 2007 remains unchanged at 6.5-8% and, beginning with 2008, consumer price growth is expected to slow down, Klepach said.

The ministry has raised its consumer price growth projections from 4.5-6% to 7% in 2008 and from 4-5.5% to 6.8% in 2009. In 2010, inflation will slow down to 6.5% only, Klepach said.

"This [faster consumer price growth] will happen because the period of 2009-2010 will see considerable electric power market liberalization and higher rates of growth for gas tariffs," Klepach said.

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