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    Russian government disappointed with economic growth rates

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    MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government is disappointed with the economic growth rates in the first half of 2005, a government source said Wednesday.

    At a session Thursday, the government will discuss Russia's social and economic development in the first half of 2005.

    Russia's GDP grew by 5.6% in the first half of 2005 compared to 7.7% in the same period last year.

    The Trade and Economic Development Ministry was instructed on many occasions to draft a package of measures to stimulate economic growth but requested that the government delay the implementation of the program again, the source said.

    The ministry said the government should discuss the issue after it approves a draft of the 2006 federal budget at a session on August 18. The source said this should have been done before the 2006 budget was discussed.

    At its session today, the government will again instruct the economic ministries to draft measures to stimulate economic growth and curb inflation, the source said.

    The persisting imbalances between the mining and manufacturing industries, expensive loans, and the underdeveloped stock market are the factors discouraging economic growth, the source said.

    The government was also alarmed by lower investment activity. Fixed capital investment grew by 9.4% in the first half of 2005 compared to 12.6% in the first half of 2004.

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