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    Russia's GDP growth 7.8% in March, 8% in Q1 year-on-year

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    Russia's GDP growth was 7.8% in March and 8% in the first quarter, year-on-year, the economics minister said on Monday.

    MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's GDP growth was 7.8% in March and 8% in the first quarter, year-on-year, the economics minister said on Monday.

    "The results of the first quarter demonstrate that despite an economic slowdown in some countries, the growth of the Russian economy is stable enough, as GDP grew 7.8% in March and 8% in the first quarter, year-on-year," Elvira Nabiullina said during a Cabinet meeting with the president.

    The minister said the economic growth is as a result of thriving investment activity and consumer demand.

    "Investment in fixed assets increased 20.2% in the first three months of the year," she said, compared to last year's annual figure of 21.2%.

    "Consumer demand growth remains at last year's rates despite tighter credit terms and a slow down in consumer lending," the minister said.

    Retail trade turnover continued to grow reaching 16.7% in the first three months, Nabiullina added.

    "This also supports national production although imports have a big role in the growth in consumer demand," she said.

    The minister earlier said GDP growth in Russia reached 8.2% in February 2008, and 7.8% in January-February, year-on-year.

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