MOSCOW, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Russia's inflation rate in 2013 was "not bad" while industrial growth experienced certain difficulties, President Vladimir Putin said at his annual press conference Thursday.
According to him, the Russian GDP will increase between 1.4 percent to 1.5 percent this year, with growth secured in agricultural production, real wages and foreign trade.
It was uneasy for Russia to find a middle way between the U.S. quantitative easing policy and European austerity measures in fighting economic crisis, Putin said.
"To withdraw windfall money from economy, we established a National Fund as a safety bag. So now we don't need to cut social spending and may finance them from that fund," he told reporters.
Calling the inflation rate decent and budget deficit negligible, Putin said the safety bag allowed Russia to pursue a subtle balanced economic policy, which he hoped could have positive effect.
It was Putin's ninth such press conference as president and the second since his returned to the Kremlin last May. More than 1,300 reporters gathered for the event. Last year, the marathon conference lasted for 4.5 hours.