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Capital Investment Slows

Capital investment advanced at the slowest pace in 10 months in March and retail sales missed forecasts, adding to signs that the economy is weakening after data showed industry growth had fallen to a 2 1/2-year low.

Investment rose 4.9 percent from a year earlier after a 15.1 percent increase in February, the federal statistics service said Wednesday. Retail sales grew 7.3 percent from a year earlier in March, down from 7.7 percent the previous month, the service said.

Wages adjusted for inflation rose 12.6 percent after a 13.3 percent increase the previous month. Real disposable incomes gained 2.8 percent, missing a 4.4 percent median estimate. Unemployment, which economists predicted would fall to 6.4 percent, remained at 6.5 percent for a second month.

"We forecast private consumption to remain strong through 2012 as a whole and play the role of locomotive of expansion in gross domestic product," said Julia Tseplyayeva, head of research at BNP Paribas in Moscow.


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