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    RUSSIA OUTSTRIPS WORLD LEADING COUNTRIES IN REAL GDP GROWTH RATES

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    MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - In the third quarter of 2004 Russia became the world's leader in real GDP growth rates.

    In this period the indicator stood at 7.1%, comparing with the similar period in 2003, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) reports.

    The US and Canada, rated at 4% and 3.3% respectively, are placed second and third on the list and followed by the UK (2.9%), Japan (2.5%), France (2%), Italy (1.3%) and Germany (1.2%).

    Over the last four years Russia has been the undisputed leaders in real GDP growth rates among developed countries. For example, the indicator amounted to 10% in 2000, 5.1% in 2001, 4.7% in 2002 and 7.3% in 2003.

    Final household consumption growth was also higher in Russia than in the developed countries and reached 12.1% in the third quarter of 2004 year on year. The indicator, including the expenditure of non-profit organizations, servicing households, stood at 3.6% and 2.9% in the US and Canada, 3% in the UK, 2.1% in Japan, 1.5% in France and 0.7% in Italy. In Germany household consumption decreased by 0.8%.

    Russia's industrial output excluding informal activities grew by 6.1% in 2004, also hitting record high among the developed countries. In Japan and the US industrial output rose by 5.5% a and 4.3 respectively in the first half of 2004. They are followed by Germany (2.3%), France (2%) and the UK (0.1%). There was a 0.2% decline in Italian industrial output in last year's third quarter, while January-November saw a 3.1% rise in Canada.

    Consumer prices rose by 11.7% in Russia in 2004. In other countries the indictors after seasonal adjustment grew by 3.7% in the US, 2.2% in Canada, 2.1% in Germany, 2% in Italy, 1.9% in France and 1.6% in the UK.

    As of December 2004 Germany topped the list of countries leading in the number of the unemployed, reaching 11.9 % of the total economically active population in September. It is followed by France (9.9%) and Russia (8.5%). The rate of unemployment made up 8.5% in Canada, 5.4% in the US and 4.1% in Japan. In Italy 8.1% of the economically active were workless in the third quarter of 2004. In the UK the indicator accounted for 4.7% in the fourth quarter.

    In its survey Rosstat used the publications of the International Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics, and the data placed by national statistics agencies on their Internet sites in compliance with the requirements of the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard.

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