President Vladimir Putin of Russia believes that the outgoing year of 2001 was successful for Russia. Answering questions in a live broadcast of the ORT and RTR TV channels the Russian president noted positive economic trends in the country. In the beginning of the year the government set the task of preserving economic growth and raising people's well-being as top priority. Economic growth exceeded the set target by 4 percent and amounted to 5.5 percent, according to preliminary data. The exact results will be known late this year - early next year, Putin said. Industrial production growth constituted 5.2 percent, noted the president. The head of state specially congratulated agricultural workers who achieved "record-high indicators." As many as 83.7 million tonnes of grain were harvested, which is much more as compared to the previous years, while the yield, according to the president, "was one of the largest over the whole history of the country." Household incomes increased by 6.5 percent and an average wage grew by 20-21 percent. Military servicemen and budget-dependent workers were less affected in this respect, the president said. Growth in real pensioners' incomes in 2001 amounted to 23 percent, while nominal incomes - over 40 percent, the head of state indicated. At the same time, Vladimir Putin noted specially that the population's living standards remain low still. The president called the inability to reduce inflation growth as a negative result of the year. Vladimir Putin pointed to positive trends either - unemployment contracted by 1.5 million since the beginning of the year, Russia's gold and currency reserves increased and the rouble rallied. According to the Russian president, "all the above taken together gives us the reason to say that the results of work are satisfactory." "The outgoing year was successful," Vladimir Putin said.
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