Current Trends in Belarus Economy02.07.2021
The following data provides a snapshot of the quantitative and qualitative parameters of the Belarusian economy in January-April, 2021.
Belarus’ GDP increased by 2.5 per cent.
The industrial production increased by 11 per cent. The significant output growth of oil products (by 33.4 per cent), data processing, electronic and optical equipment (by 26.5 per cent), chemicals (by 24.5 per cent), machinery and equipment (by 21.1 per cent), electrical equipment (by 14.5 per cent) and vehicles (by 9.8 per cent) was registered. The share of innovative products in the total amount of shipped goods reached 20.1 per cent compared to 16.5 per cent in January-April, 2020.
Agricultural production in Belarus declined by 0.3 per cent.
Retail sales decreased by 1.7 per cent. The consumer price index in January-April, 2021 stood at 108.4 per cent compared to January-April, 2020.
Financial indicators showed increased revenues from sales of goods and services of 19.3 per cent (January-March, 2021). Profitability of sales averaged at 7.4 per cent, including at 8.6 per cent in manufacturing industry and at 4.9 per cent in agriculture.
Merchandise exports grew by $3 billion (by 35.3 per cent) in January-April, 2021. 63.1 per cent of industrial goods manufactured in Belarus were exported in January-March, 2021.
The Belarusian goods exports increased by $ 1.23 billion due to growth in the sales of crude oil, petroleum products, potash and nitrogen fertilizers. Belarus’ export of other commodities increased by $1.7 billion
(by 25.3 per cent) due to growth of all product groups.
Belarus’ services sector in January-April, 2021 continued to show resilience to the adverse effects of the global economic shocks. Services exports grew by $244.2 million (by 8.6 per cent) mostly due to increase of transport services exports by $149 million (by 12.7 per cent), computer services by $148.7 million (by 18,9 per cent), other business services by $46.9 million (by 16.5 per cent).
Foreign trade balance (goods and services) improved by $554.5 million against January-April, 2020 reaching $915.9 million. Trade balance ratio towards GDP reached 4.7 per cent.
Socio-economic indicators remained stable. The unemployment rate in January-March, 2021 was registered at 4.2 per cent of the total workforce (in January-March, 2020 – 4.1 per cent). Real disposable income in Belarus in January-March, 2021 grew by 2.9 per cent.
Foreign Direct Investments reached $ 1.2 billion in January-March, 2021, decreasing the January-March, 2020 FDI indicator by 14.3 per cent.
According to the country’s monetary policy for 2021 the volume of international reserve assets is expected to reach at least $6 billion by January 1st, 2022. As of June 1st, 2021, the international reserve assets of Belarus were reported at $7.8 billion.
After April’s growth by $337.9 million (by 4.9 per cent) the level of gold and foreign exchange reserves in May increased by $485.2 million (by 6.7 per cent). The purchase of foreign exchange by the National Bank at the JSC Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange, the rise in the cost of monetary gold, as well as the receipt of funds in foreign exchange to the budget were conductive to the growth.
The exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble remained relatively stable.
The National Bank of Belarus has set the refinance rate at 8.5 per cent since April 21st, 2021.