An economy with unrealistic indicators: an evaluation of the economic situation in Belarus and a forecast for 2013 Cover Image

An economy with unrealistic indicators: an evaluation of the economic situation in Belarus and a forecast for 2013
An economy with unrealistic indicators: an evaluation of the economic situation in Belarus and a forecast for 2013

Author(s): Kamil Kłysiński
Subject(s): Economic policy, Developing nations
Published by: Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich im. Marka Karpia
Keywords: Belarus; economy
Summary/Abstract: The macroeconomic results achieved by Belarus in 2012 laid bare the weakness and the inefficiency of its economy. Belarus’s GDP and positive trade balance were growing in the first half of last year. However, this trend was reversed when Russia blocked the scheme of extremely lucrative manipulations in the re-export of Russian petroleum products by Belarus and when the demand for potassium fertilisers fell on the global market.It became clear once again that the outdated Belarusian model of a centrally planned economy is unable to generate sustainable growth, and the Belarusian economy needs thorough structural reforms. Nevertheless, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka consistently continues to block any changes in the system and at the same time expects that the economic indicators this year will reach levels far beyond the possibilities of the Belarusian economy. Therefore, there is a risk that the Belarusian government may employ – as they used to do – instruments aimed at artificially stimulating domestic demand, including money creation. This may upset the relative stability of state finances, which the regime managed to achieve last year. The worst case scenario would see a repeat of what happened in 2011, when a serious financial crisis occurred, forcing Minsk to make concessions (including selling the national network of gas pipelines) to Moscow, its only real source of loans. It thus cannot be ruled out that also this time the only way to recover from the slump will be to receive additional loan support and energy subsidies from Russia at the expense of selling further strategic companies to Russian investors.

  • Page Count: 6
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • Language: English