Belarussian economy grows 9.7% in Jan (Part 2)

MINSK. Feb 12 (Interfax) - The Belarussian economy grew 9.7% year- on-year in January 2007, a source in the Statistics and Analysis Ministry told Interfax.

The source said the ministry estimates that industrial output grew 8.5% in January and agricultural output rose 7%.

Fixed-capital investment grew 47.2% in January.

The production of consumer goods rose 11% in January 2007, including a 6.4% growth in foodstuffs and a 14% growth in non-foodstuffs. Retail trade increased 22.5%.

Belarus' foreign trade deficit was $1.663 billion in 2006. Exports grew 21.7% and imports rose 33.3%, the ministry said. Foreign trade turnover increased 27.4% in 2006 from 2005.

Peoples' real incomes grew 17.3% in 2006 amid a 9.6% growth in labor productivity. Profitability in industry was 15.5%.

In accordance with the country's social and economic development forecast for 2007, GDP is expected to grow by 8%-9%, industrial output should increase by 7.5%-8.5% and agricultural output by 6%-7.5%.

Belarussian GDP grew 9.9% in 2006 after increasing 9.2% in 2005 and 11.4% in 2004.