Belarus: GDP records another steep contraction in Q3
December 31, 2015
Belarus’ economic woes continued in the third quarter of 2015, as recently released data show the economy recorded another profound contraction. In Q3, the economy contracted a notable 4.4% over the same quarter last year, according to data released by the National Statistical Committee on 31 December. The result was marginally better than Q2’s 4.5% fall. Q2’s reading had represented a multi-year low.
Q3’s slight improvement was driven by a somewhat better performance in domestic demand, while the external sector weakened. The fall in gross fixed capital formation moderated notably, from a 23.1% contraction in Q2 to a 15.3% decrease in Q3. In addition, government consumption picked up pace, expanding 1.0% (Q2: +0.2% year-on-year). However, private consumption deteriorated, falling 3.4%, which marked the worst result since Q2 2012 (Q2: -2.7% yoy).
On the external side of the economy, exports expanded 2.5%, which matched the second quarter’s result. The fall in imports moderated slightly, from 10.0% in the second quarter to 9.8% in the third. As a result, the external sector’s contribution fell from 6.8 percentage points in Q2 to 3.9 percentage points in Q3.