Belarus: Economy surges in H1 despite losing steam in Q2
While the economy lost some steam in the second quarter, the expansion in the first half of the year was nonetheless solid. According to a preliminary estimate released by the National Statistical Committee (Belstat) on 18 July, GDP rose 4.5% year-on-year in H1, accelerating from full-year growth of 2.4% in 2017. Nevertheless, the reading points to slower growth in Q2 than in Q1, when annual growth recorded an over six-year high of 5.1%.
Belstat has not yet released comprehensive national accounts data for the second quarter; however, a more detailed breakdown for the first quarter is available. Fixed investment growth in the first quarter accelerated to a near seven-year high of 17.0% year-on-year, from 13.9% in the previous quarter. Private consumption also expanded robustly in Q1, coming in at 8.9% (Q4 2017: +10.1% year-on-year), while government consumption continued to weigh on growth (Q1: -1.5% yoy; Q4 2017: -2.2% yoy). Exports improved considerably from the previous quarter in Q1, contracting just 0.5% year-on-year in the quarter, compared to Q4’s 33.7% fall.