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Russian Growth 4.4% In First Quarter

The Russian economy grew by 4.4% in the first quarter compared with the same quarter of 2005 and activity accelerated in March, official data released on April 21 showed.

"There was an increase linked to a rise in investment and construction after a fall in January-February and also thanks to an increase in the manufacturing sector," said Andrei Klepatch, the official in charge of economic forecasts at the Russian economic development ministry.

The ministry has forecast growth of 6% for the whole of 2006, a slight slowdown compared with growth of 6.4% in 2005.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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