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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia's GDP Decline Slows

Russia's economy contracted last year by the smallest amount since reforms began, while the country's trade surplus rose by half, official figures issued Tuesday show.

Gross domestic product, a broad measure of goods and services, fell 4 percent adjusted for inflation, down from a 13 percent drop in 1994, the State Statistics Committee said.

The trade surplus rose to $22.7 billion in 1995 from $14.7 billion in 1994, the committee said.

However, the GDP figure does not cover newly established industries and the service sector, Richard Layard, a professor of the London School of Economics, told a news conference.

Unemployment rose to 8.2 percent of the work force in December 1995 from 7.1 percent in December 1994.

Layard forecast that Russia's economy could start to grow this year for the first time since reforms began and by the end of the century it could be one of the fastest growing economies in the world.