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Russia economy grows 4.1 % in first quarter: official

Russia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 4.1 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same period the previous year, the state statistics agency said in a preliminary estimate Monday.

The figure is broadly in line with the dynamic expected by the government for the full year, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin predicting annual GDP growth of 4.2 percent in 2011.

Helped by high energy prices, Russia’s economy is recovering from the economic crisis but its leaders are concerned that dependence on energy exports may leave it stuck with mediocre growth rates for years to come.

Policymakers are also concerned that inflation, standing at 9.6 percent in the first months of this year from the same period the year earlier, could harm the recovery.

The central bank, mindful of the tricky balance between combating inflation without harming growth, has raised interest rates twice this year for the first time since the economic crisis.