E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 1, 2013 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of January
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. About devaluation of the serviceman’s status
3.2. A time to gather stones
4. Economics
4.1. The second advent of the “devaluation parade”
4.2. The state as a problem
4.3. The information made public does not reflect the reality
5. Finances
5.1. Pensioners and destabilization of the financial system
6. Our forecast for February
7. From the IISEPS desktop


Dear readers!
We pinned our main hope of 2013 on Belarusian authorities’ recognition that improvement of economy’s efficiency at the expense of state enterprises’ engineering modification had no prospects. It is clear that even if our forecast-hope is destined to come true, it will happen not until the end of the year. As for January, it was marked by the shift of A. Lukashenko’s activity from enterprises onto institutional spheres (State administrative bodies, science, and mass media). Whoever the head of state met, though, whatever questions were discussed in the course of the meetings efficiency invariably became the focus of his interest. It is a good omen. It confirms the validity of our main hope.
However, the end of the year is still far distant. At its beginning we did not rule out a continuation of the “tightening the screws” process. Unfortunately, our misgivings turned out to be not ill-grounded. We refer those readers who are interested in details to the article by the lawyer S. Balykin “A Shock without Therapy” posted on the site nmnby.org on February 2. Let us cite its first paragraph: “The current year of 2013 promises to be rather difficult for Belarusian economy. It is already obvious that authorities will try to struggle against the difficulties not at all with the help of reforms, but with the usual administrative methods: “tightening the screws” on economic entities and “wheedling” money out of the average man depriving him of even the small benefits”.
The January macroeconomic statistics were not yet published as of the time of preparing the first issue of “Infofocus”; that is why we are not able to compare our moderate pessimism with the optimism of Prime Minister M. Myasnikovich. Let us remind the readers his November statement: “I think 2012 and 2013 will be the years of good prospects and an explosive growth”. Nevertheless we did manage to scrape something on the bottom of the Belstat barrel. Over the period between January 1 and January 22 the consumer price index of goods and services purchased by the public made up 102.4% (the annual target for the headline inflation index is 112%). Thus the average monthly rate turned out to be exceeded 2.4 times for incomplete January. It’s a pity we did not have a chance to lay a bet on a great sum of money with the Prime Minister at the end of the previous year.
Moderateness of our pessimism is manifested in the disbelief in the Belarusian ruble crash in the first half of 2013. In January the ruble did not recede from its position against the dollar. As for the January ruble’s decline against the euro, it was caused by the strengthening of the European currency against the dollar in the world financial markets.
IISEPS executive board

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