Belarus Economic Forecast

Belarus Economic Outlook

November 28, 2017

The economic recovery has picked up momentum following two years of recession which ended at the start of this year. According to a first estimate, annual GDP grew at an over four-year high of 2.0% in the January–October period, up from 1.7% in the January–September period. A leap in annual industrial production growth, led by the manufacturing sector; a year-on-year acceleration in retail sales, bumped up by higher wages; and increased agricultural output propelled the rise. Renewed demand for Belarusian exports in Russia and higher prices for oil and potassic fertilizers—the nation’s chief exports—have also been key drivers of the rebound in economic growth. The IMF has expressed cautious optimism about the progress made, however. It recently warned of stagnation if proposed reforms to state-owned enterprises are not implemented. Measures to institute business-friendly practices are among President Lukashenko’s top priorities. On 23 November, Belarus’ parliament approved a draft law that will limit the number of fines that can be issued to firms and eliminate existing grounds for property confiscation.

Belarus Economic Growth

Growth will continue to strengthen on the back of increased investment, solid private consumption and robust trade with Russia and CIS economies that will provide a boost to exports. A high level of non-performing loans in the banking sector remains a burden on the economy, however, posing risks to long-term financial stability. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to grow 1.7% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and project growth rising to 1.9% 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 Rate2.03-0.36 %Dec 06
Stock Market0.20.0 %Dec 06

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