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Belarus had GDP growth of 10% in 2008 in constant prices, state statistics agency Belstat told Interfax.

Industrial production was up 10.8% last year, well above the 8%-9% target approved by the president, and agricultural output was up 8.9% (compared with target of 7%-8%).

Investment in fixed assets rose 23.1% last year (15%-17%).

Consumer goods output increased 12.1% (9%-10%), including 13.1% for food (8%-9%) and 11.7% for non-food products (10%-11%).

The base forecast approved by the president called for GDP to rise 8%-9% in 2008, while the government targeted an 11% increase. In December 2008 the Economics Ministry said GDP growth for the year would be no less than 10.2%. It also said industrial production would rise 11.7%, agricultural production - 8.2%, consumer goods production - 12% and investment in fixed capital - 20%.

The target forecast for 2009 calls for GDP to rise 10%-12%. The economics ministry expects annualized growth of no more than 5% in the first quarter and 7% in the first half.

Nominal GDP in 2007 equaled 96.1 trillion Belarusian rubles, 8.2% more than the previous year (constant prices) following growth of 10% in 2006 and 9.4% in 2005.

The exchange rate on January 12 was 2,645 Belarusian rubles/$1.

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