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Sluggish growth top problem for Russian economy


10:43, November 28, 2012

MOSCOW, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Sluggish growth had become the most acute problem for the Russian economy, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Andrei Klepach said Tuesday.

The slowdown was of greater concern to the government than inflation, forecast to be below 7 percent in 2012, he said.

He told reporters his ministry did not believe the Central Bank's monetary policy would affect the pace of economic growth.

Russia's GDP would amount to 3.5 percent this year, 0.8 percent lower than in 2011, Klepach said.

Cutting interest rates would not stimulate economic growth while the inflation risks would persist in 2013, he said.

The inflation rate in Russia was linked to global food prices, which were beyond the control of the Russian government. "So far, they (inflation risks) are under control," he said.

The ministry estimated inflation in December could rise to to 0.6 or 0.7 percent. In the first 11 months of 2012, inflation amounted to about 6 percent, meaning cumulative inflation for the year is not expected to exceed 6.8 percent.

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