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In preliminary estimate of the Russian Economic Development Ministry, the GDP in 2004 increased by 6.9 percent
In preliminary estimate of the Russian Economic Development Ministry, the GDP in 2004 increased by 6.9 percent, Andrei Klepach, chief of the ministerial board for macroeconomic forecasting, told the Higher School of Economics seminar on Wednesday. Mr.Klepach noted that the fourth quarter was better than the third one also in the growth of investments and growth rates in the basic industrial sectors. As regards predictions for the first quarter of this year, the Russian economy may continue growth or decline, the ministry believes. "There is a chance to preserve the growth tendency", Mr. Klepach said. "But it is not a sure chance. Our predictions widely differ", he added. And noted that much will depend on "the reaction of business to actions of the authorities and between business companies". In late December Economic Development Minister German Gref said that, on results of the 2004 performance, Russia's GDP might reach 6.9 percent. "So far, we leave in force our prediction of 6.8 to 6.9 percent for the year. It can hardly be below 6.8 percent and may reach 6.9 percent", Mr.Gref said at the president's conference with cabinet members on December 20. As regards economic growth in 2005, it will, Mr.Gref prophesies, be around 6 percent (earlier, his ministry published the 5.8-percent figure for this year). "I think things in the economy will be OK in 2005, although the desired figure will be harder to reach. The growth may be around 6 percent", the economic development minister told journalists on December 29.
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