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10 Aug 2017

Belarus’ National Bank projects annual inflation at 7% in 2017

MINSK, 10 August (BelTA) – Belarus’ National Bank expects the annual inflation to hover around 7% in 2017, reads a report on the H1 2017 monetary performance by the head of monetary policy and economic analysis of the National Bank, Dmitry Murin. The report has been published in the Bank Bulletin journal, BelTA has learned.

“Considering the price growth dynamics for the bulk of goods and services, we expect that the consumer price growth will not exceed 7% this year,” the report said.

The positive changes that emerged in the economy and the monetary sector in the first quarter strengthened in the first half of the year. This is, first of all, further deceleration of the inflationary processes and gradual recovery of business activity in the country.

By the end of the second quarter the consumer price growth in annual terms slowed down to 6.5%. “It was slightly above 6.4% that we had in March 2017. This small increase was due to the unfavorable weather which resulted in the growth of prices for fruit and vegetables. In May-June alone, their growth in annual terms rose from 0.7% to 17.2%,” Dmitry Murin said.

Meanwhile, the core inflation in the second quarter continued to slow down, reaching 5.3% in June. Overall, the consumer prices dynamics continues to become increasingly homogeneous.

Persistent high inflation expectations remain a major constraint to the further slowdown of the inflationary pressures. The inflationary pressure is reinforced by the recovery in customer demand which is supported by increasing incomes of the population and consumer lending. The active ruble money supply has been growing faster than fixed-term ruble-denominated deposits, which also bears inflationary risks. Thus the National Bank and the government will continue working to slow down the inflation to consolidate it at the level of no more than 5% by 2021.

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