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BELOKURIKHA (Altai Territory), February 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Fixed asset investments with seasonal adjustment declined 4.1% in January, Russian Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach told an agricultural conference on Friday.
Investments dropped sharply in mechanical engineering and production of construction materials. Investments also shrank in agriculture, and a “difficult situation” would likely continue in 2014, Klepach added.
The deputy minister noted deceleration of consumer demand growth that had maintained economic activity.
“Half of consumer demand is connected with foods. Last year, retail added 3.9 percent. This year, we expect a slowdown to 3.5%,” Klepach said, adding that in January, retail turnover declined 0.5%.
The end of last year saw a considerable increase in non-fuel exports, in particular machines and equipment. Metal exports started to grow, which was “positive”, Klepach said, yet speaking of internal demand, he noted investments continuing to slip almost until the end of 2013 with January 2014 continuing the trend.