23 Nov 2009 19:19

Russian GDP shrinks 8.1% in Oct, 9.6% in 10 mths

MOSCOW. Nov 23 (Interfax) - Russian GDP shrank an estimated 8.1% year-on-year in October and 9.6% in January-October, Oleg Zasov, acting director of the Russian Economic Development Ministry's Macroeconomic Forecasting Department, told reporters.

GDP has been rising on a month-to-month basis for five months. "Growth in October compared with September was 0.3%," Zasov said.

Agriculture and construction made the biggest contribution to the October growth. "Agriculture is up for the second month in a row due to the mild October," he said.

The Econ Ministry forecasts GDP will shrink 8.5% in 2009 but will grow 1.6% in 2010.

Zasov said the trade surplus fell 47.4% year-on-year to $88 billion in January-October 2009, from $166.7 billion in the same period of last year.

Imports were $150.2 billion and exports were $238.2 billion in January-October this year.

Zasov said October exports totaled $30 billion and imports came to $18.7 billion, producing a surplus of $11.3 billion.

He said inflation could be 0.3%-0.4% in November. Consumer prices rose 0.2% in the first two weeks of this month.

Inflation was 8.1% in January-October and could be 9% in the year as a whole, compared with 13.3% in 2008.