GDP in the first five months of this year was 0.2 percent lower than in the same period in 1996, according to Goskomstat. Official figures recorded a 0.3 percent rise in the first three months of the year, but that apparent positive trend (which may have been due to a change in reporting methodology) seems to have been reversed. GDP in May was 0.4 percent lower than in May 1996.
For the first time in Russian history the service sector accounted for more than half of GDP, its share having risen to 50.6 percent. The share of GDP produced by manufacturing fell to 37.8 percent, although industrial output in the first five months of 1997 rose by 0.2 percent. Electricity production was down 5 percent over last year: a worrying sign, since this figure is one of the more reliable measures of the level of activity in the Russian economy. Inflation continues to fall: in May it was running at a 14.6 percent annual rate, and real incomes grew by 4 percent. However, wage arrears grew slightly, to 53.9 trillion rubles ($9.3 billion), of which 11 trillion was owed by state-financed organizations. (Russian news agencies, June 11)
Nemtsov to Report to Yeltsin on Far East Visit.