There are positive recovery signs in the Belarusian economy, Belarus’ Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said when speaking at a government conference to discuss the H1 performance and the measures to achieve the 2016 goals.
“We already know the H1 results and we are not satisfied with them. But it is fair to point out that there is a healthy recovery trend. We strictly follow the established rules, live within our means. The economy is balanced, social guarantees are fulfilled”, Andrei Kobyakov said. In comparison with January the GDP expanded by 1.9% and amounted to 97.5% in the first six months. “This is below 100.1% that we were aiming at, but still, the H1 dynamics was positive”, the Prime Minister said.
Andrei Kobyakov stressed that the recovery trends were seen in most industries.
“The manufacturing adds monthly. So, the industrial production index increased by 5.2% and amounted to 98.4% at the end of H1. Agriculture rose from 100.9% to 103.3%. The transport sector added a lot: cargo turnover excluding pipeline transport rose from 90% at the beginning of the year to 100.9% at the end of June”, the head of government said. Labor productivity increased from 97.3% to 99%.
In H1 Belarus honored domestic and foreign commitments in foreign currency in full without reducing the level of its international reserves. In January-July the amount of gold and foreign exchange reserves increased by $0.5 billion to $4.6 billion as of August 1.
“The domestic currency market is stable. The country demonstrates a positive balance between foreign currency demand and supply. The population sold more than $630 million over the period under review. It was thanks to a flexible exchange rate policy. The free exchange rate formation mechanism allowed us to keep up with the fluctuations in the currency of Russia, our main trading partner. We acted the way we decided at the beginning of the year. The Belarusian ruble weakened against the U.S. dollar by 8%, mainly due to an unfavorable foreign situation at the start of the year. The Russian ruble currently sits within the average annual forecasts. We planned Br297 (non-redenominated) per one Russian ruble for this year”, the Prime Minister said. Such a policy provides a solid footing for companies on the Russian market. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)