The Soviet government today published a set of highly encouraging economic statistics for January, apparently to reinforce an impression that the new leadership's insistence on greater labor discipline is already producing results.
The figures, published in the Communist Party newspaper Pravda, showed industrial output for January increasing by 6.3 percent over the corresponding figure for January 1982.
According to Soviet figures, industrial output for the whole of 1982 increased by only 2.8 percent, the lowest figure in the postwar period.
Pravda said labor productivity in Soviet industries shot up by 5.5 percent over the corresponding figure for last year.
The overall figure for labor productivity for the last year showed an increase of 2.7 percent.
At the same time, Pravda published an article by Poliburo member Mikhail Gorbachov in which he asserted that agricultural production in January was improving.
Gorbachov, who is responsible for the agricultural sector, said milk production in January was 15 percent up on the corresponding figure for last year. The production of meat was up by 4 percent and eggs by 6 percent over the 1982 figures.
Gorbachov urged farmers to improve their methods of growing grain and other crops and said that poor farming techniques rather than bad weather were responsible for disappointing harvests in recent years.
He emphasized the need for profitability in agriculture and said decisions by state and collective farms have to be made on economic grounds.