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    GDP GROWTH IN RUSSIA IN DECEMBER 2003 WAS 8%

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    MOSCOW, January 27 (RIA Novosti) - By the estimate of the Russian Federation Economic Development and Trade Ministry, in December 2003 the growth of the gross domestic product totaled 8.2% against December 2002; inflation grew 1.1%. This data appeared at the ministry's web site.

    Summing up the year, the GDP growth totaled 7%, and the growth of consumer prices 12%, as economic development minister German Gref had said earlier.

    The growth of industrial production, just as the GDP, totaled 7% in 2003 against the previous year. In December industrial production grew 7.9 percent against December 2002.

    Investments in the fixed capital in December grew by 14.5%; on the whole for the year they increased by 12.5 percent.

    "For the Russian economy, 2003 was one of the most successful of the years of reforms. Stable monthly and quarterly growth practically of all basic economic indices continued. By most indices, the growth rates were higher than in 2002," the ministry report says.

    According to the economic development ministry's calculations, 2 out of 7 percent of the GDP growth in 2003 were conditioned by an excess of the average annual price for Russian oil Urals that was established for the last ten years.

    "The major part of the growth - approximately 4.5% - is determined by basic domestic factors, growth of investments in the fixed capital and population incomes. The remaining 0.5 percent relates to 'the effect of the 2002 base'," the report says.

    The growth of Russia's real GDP in 2003 continued to outpace the relative index of the industrially developed countries. The increase of the GDP for 2003 against 2002 totaled, according to The Economist's estimations, 2.9% in the USA, 2.6% in Japan, and 0.5% in European countries.

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