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17 Oct 2017

Belarusian economy hits annual GDP target in January-September

MINSK, 17 October (BelTA) – The Belarusian economy hit the annual GDP target in January-September 2017. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov made the statement during the session of the Council of Ministers’ Presidium held on 17 October to discuss the performance of the national economy in January-September and measures to fulfill this year’s social and economic development tasks, BelTA has learned.

Andrei Kobyakov said: “As far as the growth rate of the gross domestic product is concerned, we’ve reached 101.7% as against the same period of last year. The figure matches the annual target. The overall situation in the economy is stable. Nearly all the key parameters that measure the effectiveness of performance of the government and the central bank are fulfilled.”

Labor productivity in GDP terms is on the rise — 103.2% in January-August. Export continues growing. In January-August Belarus exported $23 billion worth of merchandise and services, 19.2% up from the same period of last year. Merchandise export rose by 21.1% thanks to higher prices (15.3% up) and higher physical volumes (5% up). Belarus’ merchandise export growth rate reached 122.6% if raw materials (oil products and potassium) are left out. Foreign trade is balanced. In January-August 2017 the surplus of Belarus’ foreign trade in merchandise and services reached $478 million or 1.4% of the GDP.

Andrei Kobyakov pointed out that the national economy continues growing while macroeconomic stability is preserved. In January-September 2017 inflation hit 2.7%, the lowest figure on record in the entire history of sovereign Belarus.

Loans available to the real economy sector continue getting cheaper. In September the interest rate on new loans for corporations averaged at 12.3% per annum, down from 20.8% at the beginning of the year. While revenues from deposits continue falling, ruble deposits of individuals continue rising — 11.9% up in January-September.

Positive trends in the main branches of the Belarusian economy are preserved. In January-September industrial output rose by 6.1% while the performance of Belarusian agriculture improved by 1.7% in comparison with last year. “It is important to perpetuate the results and hit the annual target of 102.2% just the way we decided in August,” noted the head of government.

Despite the overall positive performance of the economy, statistics indicates that not all the targets revised by the Council of Ministers have been hit. The Architecture and Construction Ministry, the light industry concern Bellegprom, and the state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim are lagging behind as far as industrial output is concerned. As for agricultural output, Brest Oblast, Gomel Oblast could do better — 101.4% and 100.8% respectively while the target is at 102%. Minsk Oblast is also behind with its 101% while the target is at 101.5%.

 

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