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“INFOFOCUS” №2

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 2, 2016 – ISSN 1822-5578
(only Russian)

Content:

Introduction
1. Basic trends of February
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. “There’s nothing to think of, time to shake them down”
3.2. Credits under the whiplash
4. Economics
4.1. Borrowing cheap dollars, returning expensive ones
4.2. From meat and fish to “borscht set”
4.3. Unfavorable factors gathered in one point
5. Finances
5.1. Mattress as a guarantor of money savings safety
6. Our forecast for March
7. From the IISEPS desktop

Introduction:

Dear readers!

In our forecast for January we didn’t exclude possibility that the government and the National Bank would try to correlate target figures with the new reality. New reality from Belstat includes a drop of GDP by 4.3% in January in comparison with the same period of previous year; a drop of industrial output by 6.8% and a drop of new housing supply by 25.6%.
The actions that we predicted were made by Yury Selivestrov, the Deputy Minister of Finance, in February. The need to correct the budget he explained by a tradition, existing since the previous year: “I think we cannot avoid it (adjusting the budget). Last year we adjusted the budget in the middle of the year, when certain parameters had changed. By the end of the year all the rough edges were smoothed out. I think we are going to act accordingly this year too”.
We believe there is no need to be a professional oracle to predict multiple adjustments during the current year.
Our optimism about financial aid from the EurAsEC was justified as well. Within the framework of the union state personal relations between the leaders are more important than state institutions, so there is nothing surprising in the fact that all principal agreements come from personal arrangements. The ambassador of the Russian Federation A. Surikov announced that Russia took the “definitive and final” decision after a session of Union State Supreme State Council. This decision is worth $ 2 billion.
Despite our expectations, there was no new “trade war” (it could have been about petrol this time). Small local clashes regarding the quality of Belarusian food, naturally, happened, but their number is within a reasonable limit.
Judging by public statements of A. Lukashenko, in February reformatory coalition form the power continued trying to persuade him of the need to start structural reforms. But all of these attempts were successfully fought off. The father of the Belarusian model fixed his victory by signing decree N 78, which enumerates a long list of measures for increasing efficiency of social and economic complex of Belarus. This list doesn’t contain anything remotely resembling structural reforms.

IISEPS executive board