Russia Sees Strong 4.0% Growth

The country is experiencing a strong consumer demand and a relatively healthy financial sector that has limited borrowings from troubled European banks.

Slower than in the first three months of the year but enough to keep the country on pace to become one of the top performers in Europe this year, Russia on Friday reported strong second-quarter annualized growth of 4%.

The state statistics committee's preliminary assessment was in line with analyst expectations following a surprise 4.9% jump in gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2012.

Russia's economy expanded by 4.3% last year.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts 4% growth for Russia on the back of strong consumer demand and a relatively healthy financial sector that has limited borrowings from troubled European banks.

Russia's various reporting agencies often bicker among themselves about statistics, and the economic ministry has in past months issued a more downbeat assessment that forecast growth slowing to as low as 3.7% for the year.

President Vladimir Putin had set growth of at least 4% as a target since returning to the Kremlin for a third term in May.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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