Russia says drought to cut growth by 0.7-0.8 pct points

24th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russia's worst drought on record will cut at least 0.7-0.8 percentage points from its 2010 GDP growth, a top official said Tuesday in the first official estimate of the cost of the disaster.

"The effect of the drought will be minus 0.4-0.5 percentage points as a direct effect and, as a whole, minus 0.7-0.8 percentage points, if not higher," Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach told reporters.

More detailed information would only become available once the harvest is completed in November, Russian news agencies quoted him as saying.

The drought and heatwave have destroyed one quarter of Russia's crops, leading the government to slap a blanket ban on grain exports which caused global wheat prices to soar.

© 2010 AFP

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