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In Russia, industrial production increased by 6.2% from last year
These figures were included in materials submitted by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to the government on Wednesday. During the government session, the government will consider the preliminary results of social and economic development in Russia this year. According to the materials, in 2004 overall industrial production growth will be 6.2%. The growth in industrial production, adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects, was 0.5% in October and 0.2% in November after essentially stabilizing in the third quarter of the year. In the ministry's opinion, industrial production was revitalized because of an increase in the growth rates of export-oriented industries (metallurgy, chemical and petrochemical industries) and industries connected to the investment sector (production of technological equipment). Agricultural production in January-November rose by 0.6% against the same period in 2003. And the ministry estimates that it grew by 1% in 2004. The capital investments increased by 11.1% in January-November, and by 10.8% in 2004. A source in the government said in terms of amount, capital investments in January-November fell to 141 billion rubles this year, in comparison with 162.6 billion rubles in January-November 2003. According to the source, this was because of the annulment of profit tax exemptions for investments. He said that the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade believed that the exemption should be reinstated and that the amortization policy should be improved. Russia, the source continued, is becoming "a foreign creditor," because its gold and hard currency reserves increased to $117.4 billion this year. "The accumulated reserves have surpassed foreign debt, and we have become a foreign creditor."
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