Belarus Economic Forecast

Belarus Economic Outlook

February 6, 2018

The economy escaped the grips of a two-year long recession in 2017. GDP growth jumped to the highest level in six years, coming in notably above the government’s target. The turnaround was propelled by an expansion in most key sectors. Rising export demand from Russia, following the country’s exit from a prolonged recession, boosted exports. Moreover, retail sales returned to growth in the year, improving for the tenth consecutive month in December as consumers’ real purchasing power was lifted by declining inflation; inflation dropped to a record low in the month. A turning point in the nation’s economic recovery came on 26 January, when Fitch Ratings upgraded Belarus’ credit rating from B- to B. Main reasons cited for the upgrade were reduced risks in near-term external financing, thanks to last year’s pre-financing of payments due in 2018 and a renewed stock of international reserves, along with improved monetary and fiscal management. The improved rating will enable Belarus to borrow more cheaply through the planned issuance of Eurobonds.

Belarus Economic Growth

Favorable demand from Russia and the Euro area should boost exports, which, along with healthy private consumption and strong investment, is expected to keep the recovery on track. While macroeconomic management has improved somewhat, and structural reforms are underway, downside risks stem from the nation’s high external and public debt, and the elevated level of non-performing loans in the banking sector. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to grow 1.9% in 2018, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and project growth edging up to 2.1% in 2019.

Belarus Economy Data

20122013201420152016
Population (million)9.59.59.59.59.5
GDP per capita (USD)10,3598,1418,3155,9814,915
GDP per capita (EUR)7,6486,0786,0735,3704,426
GDP (USD bn)98.177.078.756.746.7
GDP (EUR bn)72.457.557.550.942.0
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)1.71.01.7-3.8-2.6
Consumption (annual variation in %)10.810.94.3-2.4-3.9
Investment (annual variation in %)-11.39.6-5.3-15.9-16.7
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)5.8-4.92.0-6.6-0.4
Unemployment Rate0.50.50.51.00.8
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)0.50.21.01.8-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)31.331.932.946.947.5
Money (annual variation of M2 in %)58.415.514.5-0.419.4
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)21.816.516.212.010.6
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)59.218.318.113.511.8
Policy Interest Rate (%)30.0023.5020.0025.0018.00
Exchange Rate (vs USD)-  -  -  -  -  
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)-  -  -  -  -  
Current Account (% of GDP)-1.9-9.8-6.6-3.3-3.6
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-1.9-7.6-5.2-1.8-1.7
Trade Balance (USD billion)0.6-4.6-2.6-2.1-2.6
Exports (USD billion)45.636.535.426.223.0
Imports (USD billion)45.041.138.128.325.6
Exports (annual variation in %)11.4-19.8-3.1-26.1-12.2
Imports (annual variation in %)1.4-8.6-7.5-25.6-9.7
International Reserves (USD)8.16.75.14.24.9
External Debt (% of GDP)34.451.450.867.580.5

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Belarus Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate1.96-0.36 %Feb 16
Stock Market0.20.0 %Feb 15

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