MOSCOW Russia's annual economic growth rate could accelerate to four percent in 2015-16, thanks to measures taken by the government to stimulate the economy, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Friday.
The Russian government approved a package of measures last year to stimulate economic growth, such as infrastructure projects, but has rejected significant monetary or fiscal stimulus.
"When adopting this package I didn't count on us getting out of the crisis last year or even this year," Dvorkovich was cited as saying by Russian agencies.
"The matter is 2015-16, when we can reach a growth rate of around 4 percent."
Dvorkovich's forecast is higher than official economic growth forecasts, which have been revised down amid a severe economic slowdown.
The Economy Ministry officially projects growth of 2.8 percent in 2015 and 3.3 percent in 2016, while the central bank has projected just 1.7-2 percent growth.
The Economy Ministry's official forecast is for 2.5 percent growth in 2014, but it has said recently it expects to revise this downwards to around 2 percent.
Russia's economy grew by just 1.3 percent in 2013, the lowest rate since an economic slump in 2009.
(Reporting by Jason Bush; Editing by Lidia Kelly and Catherine Evans)