«INFOFOCUS» bulletin No. 12 (189), 2017

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 12, 2017 – ISSN 1822-5578
(only Russian)


1. Basic trends of December
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. Belarusian version of zemshchina and oprichnina
4. Economics
4.1. The burden of others’ liabilities
4.2. Factors of growth are nowhere to be seen
4.3. Producing is easy, selling is not
5. Finances
5.1. From saving to consumption
6. Our forecast for January


Dear readers!

The year of stable rates of exchange and record low consumer inflation has come to an end. Our expectations regarding a “small suprise” in December didn’t come true. The trend of Belarusian ruble becoming weaker, which seemed to emerge at the beginning of the month, quickly dissipated. On December 1 dollar started at 2.0123 and ended at 1.9727. Belarusian ruble became stronger relatively to euro too: 2.3872 vs. 2.3553.

However, big picture comes from distance. Over the year Belarusian ruble got devalued by 6% relatively to the currency basket: 0.73% relatively to US dollar, 6% relatively to Russian ruble, and 15.2% relatively to euro. The latter is especially annoying for the fans of shopping in Europe (Belarusian ruble dropped by 21% relatively to Polish zloty!).

Nominal average monthly salary in November amounted to 836.9 rubles. 19.4% are lacking to reach the magical figure of 1,000. There are no reasons to expect that this figure will be attained in December. According to many years of statistics, end of year wages don’t gain more than 10-11%. Naturally, the planned figure can be “drawn”, but we believe this is unlikely. Average salary is different from GDP — regular people cannot understand the dynamics of the latter without TV help. Our theory is confirmed by Alexander Lukashenko’s forgetfulness. In December he did not remind the government that it was important to reach the “holy” figure.

The ruble in December became stronger, although insignificantly. But that didn’t stop people from expecting a devaluation. In this case our forecast was justified by the net balance of people selling foreign currency. In comparison with November 2016 it dropped by the factor of 2.5: from $ 159.3 billion down to $ 64.9 billion.

IISEPS executive board