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    GROWTH RATES OF RAW MATERIALS INDUSTRIES TO DETERMINE ECONOMIC GROWTH IN RUSSIA IN 2004

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    MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti correspondent Marina Gradova) - The Russian economy will probably grow 5-6% in 2004, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Arkady Dvorkovich stated at a meeting of the Directors' Club of the Russian Union of Manufacturers and Entrepreneurs.

    In relation to internal factors that will influence economic growth in Russia, he noted a high growth rate of raw materials industries, in particular a 6-7% a year growth rate for the oil sector. He also noted the expansion consumer demand, which will stimulate the priority growth rates of the wages and incomes of the population as a whole, as well as the growth of industries oriented to the production of consumer goods, which, in his opinion, may also grow at priority rates (about 6% a year).

    Mr. Dvorkovich believes that within the next two years the investment situation in the timber industry will change, the prerequisites for which already exist. Changes are also expected in the financial sector, which, in his opinion, is still not developed enough because consumers are still unprepared to purchase financial services.

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