E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 4, 2011 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of April
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics

3.1. Two in one
3.2. Who generates information known to be not true to fact?
4. Economics
4.1. A negative tinge of moderate optimism
4.2. What is hidden by the wage of the Russian GDP?
4.3. Belarusian Shanghai
4.4. About investment, blockheads and competitiveness
5. Finances
5.1. Write letters
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for May
8. From the IISEPS desktop


Dear readers!


In our April forecast we used changes in the amount of cognac consumed in the country as an indicator of the population’s economic unconcern. In January of 2011 it grew by 36.6% relative to January of 2010, and during January and February – by 41.7%. We assumed that the new economic reality would make the Belarusians change the structure of ardent spirits consumption and switch from expensive cognac over to cheaper alcohol. Formally it happened exactly so: from January to March consumption of cognac increased by 40.7% relative to the similar period of the previous year. Such a change should be recognized as extremely slight. The average daily consumption index also testifies to it: in January – 0.89 thousand dl, in February – 1.01 thousand dl and in March – 9.5 thousand dl. In January the Belarusians welcomed in the New Year (twice), in February they celebrated Defender of the Motherland Day, and in March they congratulated their beloved women. Problems with currency purchasing appeared already after the women’s day. Perhaps, a slight decrease in the cognac consumption during the first spring month can be accounted for by the above mentioned fact.
Contrary to our forecast, growth of the GDP accelerated in March and reached a two-digit number – 10.9%. Chinese workaholics may rest. The main contribution to another Belarusian economic “wonder” was made by trade (thanks to the party and the government for the population’s income growth!) and industry (thanks to the petrodollars that had “overstocked” the Russian market!). However, we have every reason to assert that the country’s main index will begin to decrease before long. In this regard, let us draw the readers’ attention to the revelation of the chairman of the National Statistical Committee V. Zinovsky, according to which 600 thousand employees in Belarus have recently had to temporarily suspend their activities owing to the complicated situation in the economy and in the financial field.
In March Belarus did not get the loans requested from Russia; however, as they say it, things are well underway. Hence our optimism should be considered well-grounded, and in April the office of Hero of Belarus P. Prokopovich will certainly have the opportunity to replenish its “corn bins”.
Economy, as it is known, is stronger than the ideas about it, no matter what senior government positions the bearers of the ideas hold. Today the “Belarusian economic model of development”, despite the will of its creators, has to work in the “compulsion to reforms” mode, and the budgetary policy is to become their first victim. The process of the budget revision has already begun. State programs have by now been selected for reduction of financing. Housing construction is not going to stand aside either. A. Lukashenko announced in April that “we would build less”.
Our hopes that the authorities would manage “to overstep and overcome the existing stereotypes” in the relations with the West did not come true. A. Lukashenko effortlessly made any timid movements in this direction null and void having called the European Commission president “a blockhead”.

IISEPS executive board

Download full version (in Russian only)