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Russia's GDP growth will be 2.4% in 2009 - minister

21:40 17/12/2008
GORKI (Moscow Region), December 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's forecast GDP growth for 2009 is 2.4%, while the prediction for industrial output growth has been lowered to 3%, the economic development minister said Wednesday.

Elvira Nabiullina said that the government expected an average ruble exchange rate of 31 or 32 to the U.S. dollar during 2009.

"If the dollar weakens against the euro, the ruble may be more expensive," the minister said during a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev.

The minister also said investment will grow by 1.4% and real income by 2.5%.

The figures are based on Russian macroeconomic forecasts for 2009-2010 that assume an average oil price of $50 per barrel.

Nabiullina said natural gas tariffs for domestic consumers in Russia in 2009 would be increased on a quarterly basis.

Tariffs will rise "5% in the first quarter, 7% in the second quarter, 7% in the third quarter, and 6.2% in the fourth quarter," she said.

The forecasts for 2009 have been revised following changes in expectations for the global economy and oil prices, as well as preliminary results for Russia's economic development over the past 11 months, she said.

In November, the deputy economic development minister, Andrei Klepach, said Russia's GDP was expected to grow 3-3.5% in 2009.

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RIA NovostiRussia's GDP growth will be 2.4% in 2009 - minister

21:40 17/12/2008 Russia's forecast GDP growth for 2009 is 2.4%, while the prediction for industrial output growth has been lowered to 3%, the economic development minister said Wednesday. >>

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