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Government Looks to 3.4% GDP Growth in 2011

The Economic Development Ministry expects gross domestic product to expand 3.4 percent next year as the price of crude oil averages $75 a barrel, a ministry official said Wednesday.

The ministry sees growth accelerating to 3.5 percent in 2012 and 4.2 percent in 2013 as the average price of oil rises to $78 and $79, respectively, the official told reporters, declining to be identified before the Cabinet discusses the recommendations.

The ruble will probably average 29.3 per dollar next year and then strengthen to 28.4 and 27.9 in 2012 and 2013, under the ministry’s most likely scenario, the official said. Consumer prices will probably rise between 5 percent and 6 percent in each of the next two years and between 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent in 2013, according to the official.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said last month that the budget for the next three years should be based on oil averaging $70 a barrel.

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