Belarus: Growth slows to a near two-year-low in Q1
A preliminary estimate confirmed weak momentum from the second half of 2018 carried over into this year. According to the National Statistical Committee (Belstat), GDP grew 1.1% on an annual basis in the first quarter, decelerating from Q4’s 1.3% reading and marking the slowest expansion since Q1 2017.
Although a detailed breakdown of the drivers is not yet available, faltering domestic activity appeared to have weighed on growth. Slower retail sales and rising inflation in January-February point to a slowdown in household spending. Furthermore, agricultural output contracted in Q1, while industrial production expanded at the slowest pace in two years in February. As for the external sector, exports contracted for a second consecutive month in January in year-on-year terms.