2007 FDI Doubles to $27.8Bln

Foreign direct investment in Russia doubled last year to $27.8 billion as the country's economic expansion fueled a consumer boom that weathered turbulence in global markets.

Total foreign investment, including credits and flows into the securities markets, more than doubled to a record $120.9 billion, the State Statistics Service said in an e-mailed statement Friday. Foreign investment in stocks and bonds rose 31.8 percent to $4.2 billion, it said.

"Given the worsening situation on world markets in the second half of 2007, the numbers are positive," said Tatyana Orlova, an economist at ING. "We expect continued economic and political stability. I wouldn't be surprised if FDI flows intensify in the coming years."

The economy expanded 8.1 percent last year, up from a revised 7.4 percent in 2006. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said earlier this month that growth this year could reach 7 percent, above his previous estimate of 6.6 percent.

The retail industry, including automotive and household-good repairs, received the highest amount of total foreign investment, according to the service. Foreign investors channeled $47.3 billion into the industry, including stocks and bonds, the service said.

Monthly wages grew an annual 15.8 percent in January, reaching 15,059 rubles ($616), the statistics service said. Disposable income increased an annual 12.9 percent in January, it said.