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Economy of Belarus – April-May 2017

Statistics
17:47 | 09.06.2017 | Business-News

The GDP index in January-April 2017 amounted to 100.5%, which is markedly better that the same indicator of January-April 2016 (97.0%). The biggest growth in gross value added was demonstrated by the processing industry (105.9%), power, gas, vapor, and hot water supply (105.0%), as well as transport activities (103.3%).

 

The biggest decline was recorded in the construction (91.5%). Such kinds of activities as wholesale and retail trade and water supply; waste collection, treatment and disposal, cleaning-up activities demonstrated the negative results, too.

 

The extended heating season and the economic growth in the main foreign market (Russian one) improved the GDP situation. When the dispute with Russia was settled, the supplies of the Russian oil grew from Q1. It should support the Belarusian economic growth further until oil prices begin to fall.

 

The economic growth in the Russian market allowed the processing industry of Belarus to compensate the losses from the reduced supplies of the Russian oil in January-April 2017. Since the recovery of oil supplies began just in April, the leading sub-branch of the processing industry in January-April remained the production of foodstuffs, the output of which exceeded the output of refined products by 1.85 times. The biggest output growth was demonstrated by the production of chemical products (119.5%) and woodworking (119.5%). Besides the output of refined products (70.9%), the output of computation, electronic, and optical equipment decreased, too (99.6%).

 

The agriculture in January-April 2017 demonstrated the stable growth. The growth in meat output (102.6%) and milk output (103.4%) compensated the decreased egg output (98.5%). The main branch risks continue to include the problems with sales of agricultural products in the Russian market, remaining a high level of debt under credits and loans, as well as completed period of successful foreign trade conditions.

 

The success of the transport in January-April 2017 was driven by the Belarusian economic growth, primarily, by the industry. The biggest freight turnover growth in January-April 2017 was demonstrated by the railway transport (116.2%). The freight turnover reduced in the pipeline transport (96.3%) and air transport (85.9%). When the freight turnover increases, the passenger traffic continues to reduce, except for the air transport.

 

The situation in the construction slightly improved in January-April 2017 thanks to the grown housing investments. However, the general settlement and old debt problems continue to affect the branch situation. The branch, in turn, adversely affects the GDP.

 

The retail turnover gradually recovers its positions. In March-April, the turnover even exceeded the last year's one. However, the turnovers for January-April 2017 are still less than last year. The SME share continues to decrease. As for the population expenses, the share connected with the payment of services (primarily, housing and public utility and communication services) gradually grows.

 

The negative balance of foreign trade in goods worsened by 22.4% following the results of January-April 2017 as compared to January-April 2016. It was caused by the reduced exports of oil products. One has to compensate these losses at the expense of the positive balance of foreign trade in services because it is impossible to attract foreign investments under the current conditions.

 

The receipts of the next EFSD loan tranche helped to maintain the level of gold and foreign exchange reserves at the former level in spite of the gas debt redemption. However, January-April 2017 demonstrated that the domestic market remains the only alternative to the foreign sources of the attraction of currency to pay back the public debt.

 

The Government of Belarus also considered the option of gas settlements using the budget. For this reason, the budget surplus was markedly (by several times) increased in April. If the current debt to Russia is not refinanced and the new credit facility is not signed with the IMF, it will be very difficult to serve the external public debt this year.

 

Main macroeconomic indicators

Indicator

March 2017

April 2017

January-March 2017

January-April 2017

1. Gross domestic product, in % of the appropriate period of the previous year

-

-

100.3

100.5

2. Industrial output, BYN million (in current prices)

7,515.0

7,168.2

21,036.4

28,204.6

3. Industrial production index, in % of the appropriate period of the previous year

106.7

108.7

104.3

105.4

4. Retail turnover, BYN million (in current prices)

3,119.8

3,120.1

8,493.3

11,613.4

5. Retail turnover index, in % of the appropriate period of the previous year

102.8

100.5

98.6

99.1

6. Capital investment, BYN million (in current prices)

1,464.3

1,287.0

3,351.1

3,351.1

7. Capital investment index, in % of the appropriate period of the previous year

112.0

92.0

93.5

93.0

8. Consumer price index, in % of the previous month

100.3

100.7

-

-

9. Consumer price index as against December of the previous year on an accrual basis, in %

-

-

101.7

102.4

10. Price index of manufacturers of industrial products, in % of the previous month

100.5

101.0

-

-

11. Price index of manufacturers of industrial products as against December of the previous year on an accrual basis, in %

-

-

105.4

106.5

12. Balance of foreign trade in goods

     

(preliminary data)

Exports of goods, USD million

2,391.1

2,199.8

6,177.1

8,376.90

Imports of goods, USD million

2,714.4

2,729.2

7,197.2

9,926.40

Balance, USD million

-323.3

-529.4

-1,020.1

-1,549.50

 

See the detailed analysis of the economic situation in April-May 2017 and the short-term forecast in the review "Economy of Belarus – April-May 2017."

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