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INFOFOCUS №1

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 1, 2016 – ISSN 1822-5578
(only Russian)

Content:

Introduction
1. Basic trends of January
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. Waiting for a discussion
3.2. Where we are and where the fourth industrial revolution is?
4. Economics
4.1. Pros and cons of cheap oil
4.2. Epoch of new normality
4.3. From modernization of production to modernization of management
5. Finances
5.1. Friendship is one thing, work another
6. Our forecast for February
7. From the IISEPS desktop

Introduction:

Dear readers!

Making the forecast for December 2015 we supposed that people will continue to buy more currency than they sell. Unfortunately, as of time when we were preparing the January issue of “Infofocus” we had no access to official data which could confirm or infirm our forecast. Nevertheless, our forecast was confirmed, although with a delay. In December 2015 demand for cash currency from individuals increased by $ 39 billion in comparison with November, and reached $ 551.2 billion. This demand was higher only once, in August 2015, when it amounted to $ 698.5 billion.
As for the current forecast, owing to evident reasons we chose the forthcoming year as a horizon of planning (instead of forthcoming month – January). According to A. Lukashenko, this year is going to be “very difficult”. We agree with this prospect. However, January exceeded all our expectations. It started with a collapse at world stock and commodity exchanges, and it caused a significant weakening of Russian and consequently Belarusian ruble. With the devaluation of ruble, plans of government and the National Bank were devaluated too. They need to be corrected at an early date.
Three foundations of Russian sociology (Levada-Center, POF and WCIOM) registered a significant increase of social “temperature” in January. We cannot exclude that the time of unconditional victories of the “TV” over the “fridge” has come to its end in Russia, and the quantity of economic problems starts to generate a new social quality. Unfortunately, we don’t dispose of fresh sociological information characterizing the reaction of Belarusian society to the devaluation of national currency, but with a probability close to 100% we may suppose that it wasn’t less acute than in Russia. One of particular consequences of this reaction, which we expect, may be a decrease of A. Lukashenko’s rating (Levada-Center has registered a decrease of V. Putin’s rating in January).
The “fuss about the reforms” continued in January, but, as we’ve supposed it, everything came down to a cutback of social obligations of the state. Tariffs for public utilities became the main victim of “reformation” in January.
In compliance with our forecast, the question of opening Russian air-base in Belarus remained in shadow. Our hypothesis on realization of inertial economic scenario came true as well. The head of state, naturally, stood out as the guarantor of this scenario, and once again he declared the conservation of the current course.

IISEPS executive board