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Claus Vistesen and I also have a number of country briefings and study papers available for download in PDF format. The latest are:

Bank Rossii Eases Further As Russia's Economy Contracts At A Record Rate

The ECB's Balance Sheet At A Glance.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Russian Producer Prices Accelerate in June

Russian producer prices, generaly considered an early indicator of inflationary pressures in the economy, rose in June at the fastest pace in three and a half years on record energy and metal costs. The cost of goods leaving Russia's factories and mines was up by 28.1 percent, compared with 25.1 percent in May, according to the Federal Statistics Service. Prices rose 4.9 percent month on month from May.

Factory-gate inflation together with consumer-price growth which reached 15.1 percent in June - the quickest pace since December 2002 - now represents the most significant immediate threat to Russian economic growth.

Russian unemployment rate also fell again in June to touch 6.2 percent, while real (ie allowing for inflation) monthly wages increased an annual 11.7 percent to 17,808 rubles ($767) and industrial investment rose just 10.8 percent, the slowest pace in over two years. Industrial production grew by a meagre 0.9 percent in June.

The Russian government has forecast the economy will expand 7.6 percent growth this year, compared with 8.1 percent in 2007. Gross domestic product probably rose 8 percent in the first half, Interfax news service reported today, citing an unidentified government official.

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