Belarus Economic Outlook
February 11, 2020Growth plummeted to a three-year low last year, according to preliminary national accounts data. Although quarterly data has not yet been released, momentum appears to have strengthened somewhat in Q4 2019. Industrial output quickened at the end of 2019, chiefly thanks to a more upbeat manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, healthy retail sales in Q4 suggest that household spending growth was largely sustained from Q3, amid a tight labor market and softer inflation. Externally, the picture was bleaker, however: Merchandise shipments dipped markedly in October–November as tensions with Russia and slowing global growth weighed on external demand. Meanwhile, in politics, the prospect of deeper economic and political integration with Russia sparked protests in Belarus in January. Whereas President Lukashenko appears reluctant to pursue a full-blown political union, Belarus’s dependence on financial support from Moscow leaves little wiggle room for Minsk.
Belarus Economic GrowthGrowth is expected to gain traction this year following last year’s marked deceleration, mainly thanks to a healthier external sector and an expected improvement in trade relations with Russia. That said, domestic demand is expected to soften this year, as weaker wage growth weighs on consumer spending and downbeat sentiment curbs investment activity. FocusEconomics analysts forecast growth of 1.8% in 2020, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.0% in 2021.
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|Exchange Rate||2.10||-0.36 %||Dec 31|
|Stock Market||0.1||0.0 %||Jan 07|
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Belarus Economic News
February 18, 2020
Industrial production fell 5.8% on an annual basis in January, swinging from the previous month’s 4.3% expansion and marking the sharpest contraction since November 2015 amid a broad-based downturn.
February 12, 2020
At its 12 February meeting, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) trimmed the refinancing rate by 25 basis points to an all-time low of 8.75%.
February 10, 2020
Consumer prices rose 0.9% over the previous month in January, accelerating slightly from December’s 0.5% uptick and marking the strongest increase in nearly a year.
January 28, 2020
According to the first national accounts estimate released by Belarus’ Statistical Institute (Belstat), annual growth sunk to 1.2% in 2019 (2018: +3.1% year-on-year), marking the softest expansion since 2016.
January 17, 2020
Industrial production jumped 4.3% on an annual basis in December, accelerating from the 1.7% increase logged in November. December’s print marked the strongest increase since September 2018 and was chiefly driven by robust output growth in the all-important manufacturing sector.