CIS Countries Economic Forecast

Economic Snapshot for the CIS Countries

October 30, 2019

Regional growth is seen picking up next year

Regional growth is seen picking up next year, chiefly on firmer domestic demand in Russia amid fiscal stimulus and persistent monetary policy easing. Accelerating economic activity in Belarus, coupled with upbeat growth momentum in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, should cement the upturn. A volatile external environment remains a major risk to the outlook, however.

CIS Countries Monetary & Financial Sector News

Inflation in CIS Plus fell to a 10-month low of 4.7% in September (August: 5.0%). This was mostly due to a deceleration in Russia, where pressures retreated on weak demand conditions, lower grain prices and a relatively strong ruble. Similarly, inflation also slowed considerably in Belarus and Ukraine, although price pressures intensified in Georgia and Kazakhstan.

In October, Russia’s Central Bank cut the key policy rate for the fourth consecutive time, amid quickly retreating inflationary pressures and soft economic activity. Similarly, policymakers in Azerbaijan and Ukraine softened their monetary policy stance. Going forward, with the exception of Kazakhstan, most of the region’s major central banks appear firmly dovish.

The region’s major currencies remained broadly stable against the U.S. dollar in recent weeks. Particularly, the Russian ruble strengthened on firmer domestic economic activity and robust demand for government bonds; Ukraine’s hryvnia hovered close to September’s four-year high amid optimism over IMF loan talks; and the Belarusian ruble appreciated slightly.

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