ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 21 (Interfax) - Russia's GDP will decline by about 8%-8.5% and inflation will be under 10% in 2009, which is lower than was previously expected, said Russian Prime Minister and United Russia party leader Vladimir Putin.
"Russia's economy is showing first signs of recovery, but it is still too early to talk about the end of the crisis. Serious problems are still in place in some industries," Putin said at a United Russia congress in St. Petersburg on Saturday.
"GDP decline will not be as dramatic as was expected earlier," Putin said. "The original expectations and calculations suggested it would be 10% or even more, but it will in fact be lower - about 8%-8.5%. But this is still too much, and it is more than in some other countries," he said.
"Judging by the current situation, inflation in 2009 will be significantly lower, which is certainly a good thing for us," Putin said. "Inflation in 2008 was 13.3%, and at the end of this year we will have some 9%-9.6%. At least, it is for sure that it will be under 10%, which is one of the best indicators after 1992," he said.