E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 3, 2014 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of March
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. The principle of social equality under the wheels of political desirability
3.2. Work problems of Bellesbumprom Concern entities
4. Economics
4.1. Worldwide optimism against the background of Chinese pessimism
4.2. The union of liberal fundamentalists and coercive oligarchs
4.3. Market is awakening, albeit slowly
5. Finances
5.1. Tough, but non-transparent policy of the National Bank
6. Our forecast for April
7. From the IISEPS desktop


Dear readers!
Over the last month of 2013 the devaluation expectations of Belarusians reached the maximum. That became apparent in the record value of buying of cash and non-cash foreign currency by citizens – $ 475 million. We do not have the figure for January, but it seems that December record will not be beaten. In the 2014 forecast we mentioned the decrease of alarming moods among financial analytics. The efforts of the National Bank for inflation suppression are not least of all reasons for this. As for how long the main financial regulator of the country will manage to maintain in its own scope it’s an open question, but it seems that there will be no revision of the “price maintaining policy” in the first quarter of 2014.
In our January forecast we expressed doubt about more than three-fold increase of the economic growth in 2014 in comparison with 2013 (from 0.9% to 3.3%). The Council of Ministers, as if to agree with us, adopted the resolution N13 on January 13. This resolution stipulates, in particular, a growth of GDP by 1% in the first quarter, so there is every reason to state that our year pessimism is equal to the month pessimism of the government. What concerns the mid-term prospect, we are still sure in our year forecast.
Information coming from Russia pushes us in this direction too. Firstly, Russian ruble devaluated by 7.7% in January, and it will have a negative impact on competitiveness of Belarusian goods. Secondly, in January the level of business activity in the Russian manufacturing industry turned out to be the lowest since June 2009, which is shown by the Primary Managers’ Index (PMI). After the decrease of new orders (including international ones) for the first time during the last half of year there is a decrease of industrial production. Volume of purchases and employment continue to decrease as well.
In January A. Lukashenko unexpectedly admitted that some of so-called oppositional mass media are right when they say that the salary growth overtaking the growth of labor efficiency influences negatively the economics of Belarus. Thus our forecasts of a more than moderate growth of salaries in the current year remain relevant.
The December IISEPS survey showed that our fears that there is no demand for alternative politics and alternative politicians from the atomized society were well-grounded. This means that the insignificant mobilization resource of opposition on the threshold of local elections almost equals to a zero.
There were no significant changes on the Belarusian-Russian “front”. Nevertheless, our forecast about forthcoming privatization concessions from Belarus remains in force.
IISEPS executive board

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