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The growth in direct investment into Russia in 2007 amounted
The growth in direct investment into Russia in 2007 amounted to 3.3% of the country's GDP, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

"Such levels are comparable with those of the world's most attractive countries for investment," Putin said, adding that GDP grew by 7.6%.

Putin said the number of people earning less than the minimum wage is decreasing and would total 12-13% of the population in 2007 compared to 15% last year.

The Russian leader, whose term in office ends in March 2008, and who will head the government if his protege Dmitry Medvedev wins presidential elections, said the main goals for 2008 should be lowering inflation growth and improving living standards for Russians.

Putin said the 2007 targets had not been achieved but did not blame financial bodies for the failure. "It is not just the Finance Ministry but also the global economic situation and the Russian economy," he said.

Andrei Belousov, deputy economics minister, said Tuesday Russia's inflation in 2007 would reach around 12%. The government's initial inflation target for the year was 8%.


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