According to official statistics, the Russian economy grew by 0.2 percent year-on-year in the first three months of this year. (Itar-Tass, April 14) This would be the first quarterly growth since 1991. Observers are skeptical about the claim, however. Russia’s State Statistics Committee recently changed the way in which it calculates growth. It increased its estimate of the unofficial economy from 20 to 25 percent of GDP for 1997 but did not adjust the figures for 1996, thereby producing skewed results.
Moscow Hikes Vodka Tax.