MOSCOW -- Russia's state statistics agency Thursday showed the country's economy growing by 3.4% last year, a fraction lower than the estimate given by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The Rosstat agency said the economy faded in the last quarter of 2012 because of poor results in the drought-stricken agricultural sector.

A poor harvest limited the sector to just 3.8% growth last year, down sharply from the 16.9% expansion seen in 2011.

Medvedev told the Davos forum last week that the Russian economy gained 3.5% of gross domestic product in 2012 -- the figure he received from the economic development ministry and one forecast earlier by President Vladimir Putin.

The growth figures came at the lower end of Russia's initial 3.5% to 4% estimate.

Russia's economy grew by 4.3% in 2011 and Putin has set 4.5% growth as the country's general target.

Russia's Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach has forecast growth to be limited to just two percent in the first half of 2013 before reaching more than four percent in year-on-year terms over the third and fourth quarters.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013