Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 44

Addressing an expanded meeting of the cabinet yesterday, Chernomyrdin acknowledged the criticism leveled at his government by President Yeltsin, and recognized that economic reforms had exacted a heavy social cost. The overall tone of the prime minister’s report was, however, rather cheerful. February inflation reached an all-time low, he said, and the fact that substantial gold reserves have been built up rules out sharp currency fluctuations in future. The economy has not yet emerged from recession, but pockets of growth can be detected in several sectors of the economy and, Chernomyrdin predicted, more will follow in the spring. He said the population will detect a change for the better during the first six months of this year, that is, he stressed, by the time of the June 1996 elections. But he emphasized that his government will not alter its course or "wreck the budget by populist policies aimed at lowering the social cost of reforms."

Inflation at All-Time Low…