Belarus Economic Outlook
March 5, 2019The 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 GrowthGrowth 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
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|Exchange Rate||2.14||-0.36 %||Mar 11|
|Stock Market||0.1||0.0 %||Feb 25|
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Belarus Economic News
March 11, 2019
Consumer prices increased 1.3% over the previous month in February, up from January’s 0.9% print.
February 18, 2019
Industrial production growth decelerated to 0.9% year-on-year in January, down from December’s 1.3% expansion, logging the lowest reading in almost two years.
February 11, 2019
Consumer prices increased 0.9% over the previous month in January, a tad above December’s 0.8% print.
February 8, 2019
At its 6 February meeting, the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) kept the refinancing rate unchanged at an over decade-low 10.0%, in line with analysts’ expectations.
January 17, 2019
Industrial production growth decelerated to 1.3% year-on-year in December, down from November’s 3.1% expansion. Looking at 2018 as a whole, annual average industrial production grew 5.7%, below 2017’s 6.1%.