«INFOFOCUS» bulletin No. 10 (187), 2017

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, No. 10, 2017 – ISSN 1822-5578
(only Russian)


1. Basic trends of October
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. The third wave of liberalization
3.2. “Belarus is a part of Venezuela”
4. Economics
4.1. Optimism amidst the probable worsening of situation
4.2. From anomalous growth to inevitable stagnation
4.3. Growth determined by external factors
5. Finances
5.1. Power does not dare to take a political decision
6. Our forecast for November
7. From the IISEPS desktop


Dear readers

As we supposed, the meeting on summarizing economic results of the third quarter was not held. Let us remind you that the last time that Alexander Lukashenko mentioned the necessity of meetings of the sort was on August 22. However, it should be recognized that this time the Presidential Administration had a serious reason for the non-compliance with the instruction of the head of state: republican seminar “On improvement and development of housing and utilities sector” was held on October 19-20 in Minsk. The decision to hold it was taken on December 10, 2013.

Vita brévis, ars lónga; life is short, art is eternal. Wikipedia says that the author of this aphorism is the well-known Greek thinker and doctor Hippocrates. But taking into account the fifth presidential term of Lukashenko, one can boldly affirm that not only art is eternal, but even power can remain in the hands of the same person for an unlimited amount of time. Thus any meeting that was once declared will happen one day.

Gross payroll in September amounted to 831.3 ruble ($ 429.2). The “state for the people” has very low odds of successfully fulfilling the promise made in the beginning of the year. But there is a new trouble coming. Lukashenko did not expect it, but we mentioned it in our previous forecast: while in September the average exchange rate of Belarusian ruble to U.S. dollar amounted to 1.9368, in October it reached 1.9633 (1.9855 on November 6).

Weakening of Belarusian ruble at the cost of salaries, according to our forecast, should have tipped the balance between buying/selling cash foreign currency towards buying. However, it didn’t happen in October: excess of sold currency over bought currency amounted to $ 198.8 billion in September and to $ 221.9 billion in October. However, if you compare these numbers to similar indicators in 2016 ($ 319.2 billion and $ 293.1 billion accordingly), it becomes evident that people are not willing to sell dollars, and this trend is likely to last.

IISEPS board