22:37 GMT +323 February 2019
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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 20 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Russia's gross domestic product will increase by 5.7 per cent this year, forecasts Arkady Volsky, president of the Russian Union of Industrialists' and Entrepreneurs (RUIE), reports the Union's PR Department.

    The national economy will partly - and greatly - shift emphasis to domestic factors, he told a session of the International Consultative Council in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland.

    Mr. Volsky, however, expects his country to come against a predicament in which external factors of progress get weaker before the internal gain in necessary strength - a situation Russia has not encountered since the crisis-ridden year 1998.

    He thinks petroleum prices may go down this year, though not below a fairly lucrative US$25 a barrel. Still, external stimuli of economic improvement will subside, and Russia ought to compensate them with progress of farming, communications, transport, processing industries, the entire consumer sector and, last but not least, engineering industry - that is, economic branches with an emphasis on domestic consumption.

    However spectacular economic headway Russia might have made last year, it still ranks the world's 10th to 15th, according to various estimations, in terms of GDP. Specially alarming in that context are tokens of inertia in economic developments.

    The external factor, with high Russian export prices, especially for fuel, energy and metals, was the principal in last year's industrial output increase - roughly 7 per cent, remarked Arkady Volsky as he highlighted primary domestic factors, in particular, reliable fiscal policies, a steady budget balance, and reasonable currency rates.

    Russia went through last year's peak foreign debt payments unscathed despite all previous apprehensions. Capital investment came 12 per cent up to account for the year's economic progress, with a 6.8 per cent GDP increase, and inflation shrinking to 12 per cent.

    Everyone can see Russian corporate management improving as Russian business is getting ever more aggressive in its competition with imported commodities for a rising solvent demand, stressed Mr. Volsky.

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