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    MOSCOW, January 28, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Head of the Russian Statistics Committee Vladimir Sokolin is convinced that Russia's GDP growth in 2003 will make roughly 7%.

    Sokolin said at a press conference on Wednesday that the committee would publish GDP growth indices for 2003 in late March.

    According to Sokolin, the GDP growth index is generally very close to the figure indicating the growth of industrial output, he explained. Therefore, I am convinced that GDP growth will make about 7%, he said.

    Sokolin specified that in late March the first assessment of the GDP growth would be published on the basis of statistical accounts.

    Afterwards, this index will be reconsidered by the State Statistics Committee five times within two years, he said. "This is a normal practice in other countries. It is linked with the fact that final data on the payment balance, budget execution, etc. will only be calculated in the next two years," noted the State Statistics Committee spokesman.

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