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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Direct Foreign Investment Up

Direct foreign investment in Russia rose by 11 percent in 1996 over the previous year, totaling $2.09 billion, the State Statistics Committee said Monday.

Government officials hope the 1997 total will reach $3.5 billion, a figure that still would leave Russia well behind several Eastern European countries and the booming Asian economies.

Goskomstat also released figures Monday for private Russian bank deposits and unemployment. As expected, the giant state savings bank, Sberbank, dominated private deposits in accounting for 75.2 percent of the 133.24 trillion rubles ($232 million) that had accumulated in private bank deposits in February. The total is up 2.75 percent over figures for January, Interfax reported.

The average deposit in Sberbank grew by 3.5 percent in February to 445,000 rubles, the news agency reported.

The committee said that unemployment grew by 38,600 during February, totaling 2.55 million by March 1. At the same time, the number of vacant jobs reported by enterprises rose by 6,400 in February, and now exceed 263,000, Goskomstat reported.

Because of the difficulty in collecting reliable information, many economists and analysts view the state's statistics with skepticism.