13:15 GMT +304 December 2016
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    LAST YEAR MADE RUSSIANS BETTER-OFF: WORLD BANK

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 18, RIA NOVOSTI - Russian public incomes saw a considerable increase last year, say World Bank experts. The percentage of people beyond the poverty level, i.e., with incomes below the subsistence level, came down from 27.3, as of September 2002, to 21.9, September last-that thanks to a rapid increase of the gross domestic product.

    The year 2003 sent the population's real incomes 14.5 per cent up, and real wages 10.4 per cent. The average nominal monthly wage came 26.4 per cent up to 5,512 roubles-roughly, US$180, as against R4,360, or $140, for the preceding year, the World Bank says in its annual report on Russian economic affairs.

    Even despite last year's economic progress, 31,200,000 Russians remain below the poverty level, with an average monthly income of R2,121, or $74, and the actual unemployment rate came up to 7.9 per cent, on International Labour Organisation standards.

    Though 2003 was, on the whole, a good year for the Russian economy, its growth rate stays insufficient, concludes the report.

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