Russian Industrial Output Decline Eases

MOSCOW (AP) -- Industrial output in Russia shrank by 10.8 percent in July from a year before but rose by nearly 5 percent compared to a month earlier, the Federal Statistics Service reported Monday, suggesting the worst of the recession is over.

The yearly rate of decline in manufacturing was the slowest this year after a 12.1 percent drop in June, when the sector showed its first signs of stabilization.

Russia's economy shrank by 10.1 percent in the January-June period, but some analysts believe it has passed the worst of its economic downturn, with investment and retail sales figures in particular showing improvement.

Russia is weathering its first recession in a decade as oil prices -- the backbone of its economy -- slumped and many foreign investors fled the country.

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