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Russian GDP growth slows to 7.7% in May

MOSCOW, June 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's GDP growth stood at 7.7% in May and was 8.4% for the first five months of 2008, a deputy economics minister said Tuesday.

"There was a certain slowdown [in May], but we will only be able to speak about a trend after the first half of the year," Andrei Klepach said.

Russia's GDP grew 8.1% in 2007 and is expected to expand 7.6% in 2008, according to a government forecast.

Inflation is expected to be 1.0-1.1% in June, Klepach said, adding that a trend towards slower consumer price growth was being observed in the country.

As Russia continues to reap the benefits of high world oil prices, consumer price growth has proved to be a major problem for the Russian authorities, who plan to keep inflation within the projected 10.5% in 2008.

Last year inflation in Russia stood at 11.9%, up from 9% the previous year.

Klepach said the economics ministry had submitted a package of anti-inflationary measures to the government.

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