According to the Russian Economy Ministry, Russia's GDP grew 3.8 percent in the first half of 2002 as compared to the similar period of the previous year, a high-ranking official of the ministry told reporters today. He also said that the industrial output increased 3.2 percent, the capital investment growth amounted to 1.7 percent, the CPI was up 9 percent and the PPI rose 7.7 percent.
The ministry's representative stressed that the annual economic projections of the government had been reconsidered in accordance with the results of the first half of 2002. For example, the GDP growth forecast was upgraded from 3.6 to 3.8-3.9 percent, the forecasted output growth was increased from 3.5 to 3.7 percent, the capital investment growth was revised from 6.5-7 percent to 4.5-5.5 percent, and the annual inflation rate was estimated to be 14 percent. The economic forecasts were improved in consideration of an accelerated growth in the fuel and non-ferrous metal industries (due to an upsurge in exports) and the food industry (due to the growing domestic demand). The Economy Ministry official stressed that the government would base the estimation of macroeconomic parameters on a GDP growth projection of 3.8 percent, as this level would be reached even in the event of a minimal growth in the second half of 2002. The country will have a lower GDP only if there is "an economic slump in the second half of 2002", the source said. The less upbeat investment forecast was brought about by the fact that some industries had not reached sustainable growth rates. Primarily it refers to the electric power industry due to the ongoing restructuring, the ferrous metal industry due to a fall in metal prices on the world market, the chemical and petrochemical industries due to the controversy with SIBUR and the engineering industry.
According to a source in the Russian Defence Ministry, Russia started deploying elite commando units in eastern Libya. Russian GRU officers, mercenaries and advisors have arrived in Libya