Russian Economy Grew 4.2% in First Half

Russia suffered a 7.9% economic contraction in 2009.

Compared with the same period of 2009, the Russian economy grew 4.2% in the first half of the year, the economic development minister said July 19.

"In principle, there has been good momentum in the emergence of the economy from crisis," Minister Elvira Nabioullina told a cabinet meeting, according to Russian news agencies.

"In June, the positive trend continued," she said, adding that the economy expanded 4.9% when compared with June 2009.

Russia suffered a 7.9% economic contraction in 2009, weighed down by the global financial crisis, after growth of 5.6% in 2008.

The recovery has been helped a steady rise in oil and gas prices this year. Oil and gas account for 60% of Russia's export earnings.

Authorities now foresee growth of 4% for all of 2010.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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