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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

February GDP Holds Steady

Russia's gross domestic product was unchanged in February from the same month last year, but the figure for the first two months of the year was up 0.7 percent, the government said Thursday.

February's pace was well behind the 1.3 percent growth of January, the report by the State Statistics Committee noted.

After years of sharp declines, Russia's economy managed to grow by 0.4 percent last year, and the government is predicting growth of about 2 percent this year.

Meanwhile, Russia's unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent at the end of February, up from 9.0 percent a month earlier, the State Statistics Committee said. The rate was running at 9.5 percent in February 1997, the committee said.

A total of 6.5 million people were actively looking for work at the end of February 1998, down from 6.9 million a year earlier.

Wage debts in Russia rose by 6 percent last month to 57.8 billion rubles ($9.6 billion). According to the government statistics cited by Interfax, industrial debts stood at 49.7 billion rubles as of March 1, while those for nonindustrial jobs stood at 8.1 billion rubles.

The inability of companies and government agencies to pay their workers on time has been one of the major problems in Russia in the past couple of years.