Belarus Economic Forecast

Belarus Economic Outlook

March 5, 2019

The economy stumbled at the start the year, as weaker dynamics in the back-end of 2018 appeared to have carried over into Q1. Seemingly subdued household spending in Q4 likely persisted at the outset of the year, as reflected by slower retail sales in January and high inflation. Furthermore, industrial production spluttered in the same month and agricultural output remained in the red, further stoking prices. On the external front, detailed data for Q4 shows exports decelerated sharply through year-end, while imports grew marginally. On 13 February, Vladimir Putin offered to maintain vital energy subsidies and financial aid to Belarus, in exchange for greater integration between the two countries. The deal would likely support near-term growth, although it could be seen as a potential takeover by Russia as it contemplates sharing the same currency, tax regime and courts.

Belarus Economic Growth

Growth is expected to moderate this year amid a broad-based slowdown. Private consumption could tap the brakes, due to higher unemployment and persistent inflation. Meanwhile, slower external demand should weigh on industrial production this year. The slowdown in Russia, the country’s main trading partner, poses the main downside risk to the outlook. FocusEconomics analysts expect growth of 2.5% in 2019, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.4% in 2020.

Belarus Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)9.59.59.59.59.5
GDP per capita (USD)7,8798,0295,9814,9155,741
GDP per capita (EUR)5,8835,8645,3704,4265,024
GDP (USD bn)74.676.056.746.754.3
GDP (EUR bn)55.755.550.942.047.5
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)1.01.7-3.8-2.52.4
Consumption (annual variation in %)10.94.3-2.4-3.92.9
Investment (annual variation in %)9.6-5.3-15.9-17.45.2
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)-4.92.0-6.6-0.46.1
Unemployment Rate0.50.51.00.80.8
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)0.21.01.81.32.8
Public Debt (% of GDP)31.932.946.947.247.5
Money (annual variation of M2 in %)15.514.5-0.419.430.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)16.516.212.010.64.6
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)18.318.113.511.86.0
Policy Interest Rate (%)23.5020.0025.0018.0011.00
Exchange Rate (vs USD)0.951.191.861.961.97
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)0.891.031.601.991.93
Current Account (% of GDP)-10.1-6.9-3.2-3.6-1.7
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-7.6-5.2-1.8-1.7-0.9
Trade Balance (USD billion)-4.6-2.6-2.1-2.5-2.9
Exports (USD billion)36.535.426.223.128.7
Imports (USD billion)41.138.128.325.631.6
Exports (annual variation in %)-19.8-3.1-26.1-11.724.0
Imports (annual variation in %)-8.6-7.5-25.6-9.523.3
International Reserves (USD)6.75.14.24.97.3
External Debt (% of GDP)53.152.667.580.473.6

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Belarus Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate2.14-0.36 %Mar 11
Stock Market0.10.0 %Feb 25

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