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Belarus’ official statistics starts reflecting impact of economic crisis, experts concerned about private households

June 02
11:09 2020

MINSK – PrimePress Analysis. While economically developed countries calculate financial losses from the coronavirus pandemic and cautiously make forecasts for the near future, the Belarusian authorities feel optimistic about the future. Belarus’ Economy Minister of Alexander Chervyakov claims the recovery of the Belarusian economy will start as early as July this year.

The possibility of a rapid recovery of the Belarusian economy after the fall caused by the closure of the countries and world markets in the context of the pandemic was also announced by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko during a conference on pressing socioeconomic and political issues on May 25.

Meanwhile, the official statistics show a serious slowdown in the country’s economy, which may grow worse in the coming months due to the decline in business activity of Belarus’ main partners. At the same time, the situation is complicated by the internal peculiarities of Belarus: the top-down system of state management, the approaching presidential elections and the desire of the authorities to fulfill their promises at almost any cost. High inflation and devaluation expectations of Belarusians, fuelled by populist statements of the authorities, also play an important negative role.

Table 1. Key indicators of Belarus’ macroeconomic performance:

Indicator Real figures, Jan-Apr 2020, billion Belarusian rubles Jan-Apr 2020 on Jan-Apr 2019, % Official forecast for  2020, %
GDP 41.092 minus 1.3% +2.8% (+1.6% in H1)
Industrial output 35.250 minus 3.8% +2.2% (+1% in H1)
Fixed capital investments 8.075 +1.5% +4% (+1.7% in H1)
Inflation growth since early 2017, % 3.3 5.4* 5% at most (not more than 3.2% in June 2020 compared to the level of Dec 2019)
Foreign trade balance (goods and services), USD million +498** (+3.7% of GDP) +481.8*** (+3.6% of GDP) +$650m or + 1% of GDP in 2020 (including $284.7m or +2% in Q1)
Real disposable household incomes, year on year, % +7.1** +7.4*** annual forecast +2.4% (+0.7% in Q1)

* Apr 2020 on Apr 2019

** Jan-Mar 2020

*** Jan-Mar 2020

News Courtesy : Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in New Delhi, India

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