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Capital Investment, Incomes Rise in August

Russian capital investment surged the most in almost two years in August, according to a State Statistics Service report on Friday, as employment and consumer spending rose, signaling that domestic demand may help drive the recovery.

Fixed-capital investment rose an annual 10.9 percent, the most since September 2008, the report said. The increase was 0.8 percent in July.

Real wages gained 6.6 percent in August and disposable incomes jumped 7.9 percent, the most in seven months. The jobless rate fell to 6.9 percent from 7 percent in the previous month. Retail sales rose for the eighth month in a row, jumping an annual 6.5 percent and matching economist forecasts, after growing a revised 6.7 percent in July.

The economy is regaining momentum, helped by increasing domestic demand, after record-high temperatures reduced output in July. Industrial production accelerated last month as manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace since April 2008, an index prepared by HSBC Holdings showed in early September.

Russia is showing “stable growth” this year, and gross domestic product may increase as much as 4.4 percent after a record contraction of 7.9 percent in 2009, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Friday at an investment forum in Sochi.

The government previously estimated that the economy would expand 4 percent in 2010.

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