Belarus Economic Forecast

Belarus Economic Outlook

February 11, 2020

Growth 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 Growth

Growth 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.

Belarus Economy Data

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Population (million)9.59.59.59.59.5
GDP per capita (USD)8,3156,1834,9485,7386,476
GDP per capita (EUR)6,0735,5524,4555,0225,542
GDP (USD bn)78.758.647.054.561.2
GDP (EUR bn)57.552.642.347.752.4
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)1.7-3.8-2.52.53.0
Consumption (annual variation in %)4.3-2.4-3.24.88.3
Investment (annual variation in %)-5.7-15.5-14.55.54.9
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)2.0-6.6-0.46.15.7
Unemployment Rate0.51.00.80.50.4
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)1.01.81.32.83.8
Public Debt (% of GDP)32.946.947.247.245.4
Money (annual variation of M2 in %)14.5-0.419.430.220.1
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)16.212.010.64.65.6
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)18.113.511.86.04.9
Policy Interest Rate (%)20.0025.0018.0011.0010.00
Exchange Rate (vs USD)1.191.861.961.972.17
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)1.031.601.991.932.04
Current Account (% of GDP)-6.6-3.1-3.4-1.7-0.4
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-5.2-1.8-1.6-0.9-0.3
Trade Balance (USD billion)-2.6-2.1-2.5-3.0-2.7
Exports (USD billion)35.426.223.128.733.2
Imports (USD billion)38.128.325.631.735.9
Exports (annual variation in %)-3.1-26.1-11.724.215.9
Imports (annual variation in %)-7.5-25.6-9.523.713.4
International Reserves (USD)5.14.24.97.37.2
External Debt (% of GDP)50.865.379.873.263.8

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Belarus Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate2.10-0.36 %Dec 31
Stock Market0.10.0 %Jan 07

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