Belarus Economic Forecast

Belarus Economic Outlook

July 3, 2018

The economy appears to have shifted into a slightly lower gear in the second quarter, after growth hit an over six-year high in the first quarter. Economic growth appears to have decelerated for the third consecutive month in May; nevertheless, fundamentals remained strong. Domestic demand was bolstered in the month by higher disposable incomes, and dwindling inflationary pressures were reflected in robust retail sales, which grew at a nearly four-year high in May. Meanwhile, momentum in the external sector persisted into April, following a jump in merchandise exports by over a quarter in Q1, supported by booming mineral exports. Industrial production, however, decelerated to a year-to-date low in May. As both external and domestic demand remained strong, a fading base effect was, however, in part behind the slowdown.

Belarus Economic Growth

Strong domestic demand should prop up growth this year on the back of household consumption bolstered by tight labor market conditions; however, the pace of expansion is expected to moderate in the coming quarters. The external sector will remain strong on waning, but still-healthy, demand from the EU and CIS countries, particularly Russia. On the flip side, Belarus’s strong reliance on Russia, its main trading and political partner, continues to cast a shadow on its ability to reach sustained economic independence in the long term. FocusEconomics panelists see the economy expanding 3.2% in 2018, which is up 0.3 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.9% in 2019.

Belarus Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)9.59.59.59.59.5
GDP per capita (USD)7,8798,0295,9814,9155,741
GDP per capita (EUR)5,8835,8645,3704,4265,024
GDP (USD bn)74.676.056.746.754.3
GDP (EUR bn)55.755.550.942.047.5
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)1.01.7-3.8-2.52.4
Consumption (annual variation in %)10.94.3-2.4-3.92.9
Investment (annual variation in %)9.6-5.3-15.9-17.45.2
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)-4.92.0-6.6-0.46.1
Unemployment Rate0.50.51.00.80.8
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)0.21.01.81.32.8
Public Debt (% of GDP)31.932.946.947.247.5
Money (annual variation of M2 in %)15.514.5-0.419.430.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)16.516.212.010.64.6
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)18.318.113.511.86.0
Policy Interest Rate (%)23.5020.0025.0018.0011.00
Exchange Rate (vs USD)0.951.191.861.961.97
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)0.891.031.601.991.93
Current Account (% of GDP)-10.1-6.9-3.2-3.6-1.7
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-7.6-5.2-1.8-1.7-0.9
Trade Balance (USD billion)-4.6-2.6-2.1-2.5-2.9
Exports (USD billion)36.535.426.223.128.7
Imports (USD billion)41.138.128.325.631.6
Exports (annual variation in %)-19.8-3.1-26.1-11.724.0
Imports (annual variation in %)-8.6-7.5-25.6-9.523.3
International Reserves (USD)6.75.14.24.97.3
External Debt (% of GDP)53.152.667.580.473.6

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Belarus Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate1.98-0.36 %Jul 17
Stock Market0.10.0 %Jul 17

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