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    MOSCOW, April 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The economic development and trade minister, German Gref told RIA Novosti that GDP growth by 6.4% a year is not an ambitious forecast, but that it was real.

    "This is a real forecast," the minister said. "We want much but the desire should be always coordinated with a real situation."

    According to him, by 2004, GDP growth is expected to be 6.4%. The same index has been forecast for 2005, Mr. Gref pointed out.

    He also emphasized that it is very difficult to forecast economic growth. "The economy changes every year," he continued. "That is why we do not forecast but say: if reforms are conducted and oil prices are high enough we will fulfil our plans and even exceed them. If even one of these conditions is not present, we will fail."

    "The forecasts we give are based on real macroeconomics, otherwise it will already be a policy not economics. But I am not engaged in politics," Mr. Gref added.

    Speaking about the possibility of doubling the GDP over the 10 years, Mr. Gref stressed, "this will depend on what it [GDP growth] was in the preceding years. Last year, we met the annual average index."

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