At the end of the eleventh five-year plan (1981-1985) Soviet economists are in a dilemma. On the one hand, some of the greatest difficulties of the initial phase of the plan have been overcome. In particular, after a series of tad years, which reached a low point in 1982, industrial growth rates picked up again in 1983 and 1984 and even productivity growth accelerated in this sector. On the other hand the bad harvest in 1984 caused agricultural output to stagnate at the previous year's level, construction and transport showed renewed weakness, and in the energy sector crude oil extraction declined for the first time. Taken together, this brought a renewed decline in the overall rate of economic growth. The Soviet gross national product, measured by Western standards, probably increased by 2-2.5 percent in 1984 compared with about 3 percent in the preceding year. True, this figure is above the level to which the growth rate dropped at the turn of the decade, but it shows clearly that the breakthrough to steady, long-term economic recovery that the Soviet authorities had hoped for has not yet been achieved. With the annual plan for 1985, which envisages an overall growth rate of 2.5-3 percent again (by Western standards), Soviet planners are trying to secure a satisfactory conclusion to the current medium-term plan. However, many of its targets are unattainable. Even if the planned growth acceleration is successful (something which is far from certain in view of the renewed slackening of pace in industry during the early months of 1985), the scope for maneuver within the "magic triangle" of Soviet economic policy—consumption, capital formation and armaments 1 —remains extremely circumscribed. Disagreements over priorities in resource allocation are likely to persist The central bottleneck sectors continue to be investment and transportation. Furthermore, it is an open question whether Siberia represents a reserve or a burden for future economic 124development. The problems of these sectors are discussed in the respective essays in this volume. 2