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Russia's foreign trade surplus increased 63.5% year-on-year in January-May
Russia's foreign trade surplus increased 63.5% year-on-year in January-May to $85 billion, the Central Bank said on Sunday.

"The foreign trade surplus totaled $85 billion, compared with $52 billion in the same period of 2007," Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Gennady Melikyan told the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.

Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev earlier said rapid growth in imports was a factor restraining an increase in the country's current account surplus.

Despite record high growth in world oil prices, Russia's international reserves are increasing more slowly than last year, contributing to slower growth in money supply. These factors are expected to cut consumer price growth in the second half of the year, Ignatyev said.

As Russia continues to reap the benefits of high world oil prices with a large influx of petrodollars, consumer price growth has proved to be a major problem for the Russian authorities.

Russia's inflation hit 7.7% from January 1 to June 1 compared with 4.7% in the same period last year, the country's top statistics body earlier said.

The Russian government plans to keep inflation within 10.5% in 2008.


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