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21 Feb 2018

EDB forecasts GDP growth at 2.6%, inflation at 6% in Belarus in 2018

MINSK, 21 February (BelTA) – The Eurasian Economic Bank (EDB) projects Belarus’ GDP to increase by 2.6%, with the inflation running at 6% in 2018, reads the quarterly Macroeconomic Review published by the Chief Economist Group at the EDB, BelTA learned from the EDB press center.

According to the EDB, in 2017, the EDB member economies adapted to negative external developments and embarked onto a trajectory of economic growth. The region’s task for the next several years is to achieve more reliable and higher economic development rates

The authors of the review note that the EDB countries have demonstrated positive growth rates due to improved external developments, the gradual softening of their monetary policies, and fiscal incentives. In 2017, the region’s GDP grew by 1.8%, compared to a decline of 0.1% in 2016. Mutual trade is recovering, too.

Monetary policy is also demonstrating certain successes. In December, the year-on-year inflation rates reached a record low of 4.6% in Belarus.

EDB analysts forecast positive economic growth in the Bank’s member states and a 2.2% increase in the region’s GDPs in 2018. The record-low inflation rate achieved in 2017 (an average of around 3% for the region) is forecast to increase to 4% in 2018 but will remain within the targets set by the central/national banks.

“An efficient application of fiscal rules should help lessen the nominal exchange rate’s dependence on oil prices in the region’s leading economies and stabilize mutual exchange rates of the EDB member countries,” said Yaroslav Lissovolik, Chief Economist at the EDB.

A special report attached to The Macroeconomic Review describes mutual trade between the EAEU countries, pointing out to increases in its nominal volumes, greater diversification of its structure, and a lower percentage of transactions in mineral resources in overall trade volumes. According to the authors, all these trends suggest that the single market in goods and services within the EAEU begins to bring economic dividends. At the same time, the impetus to economic cooperation given by integration is focused, among other things, on the development of intra-sectoral trade, which should make it one of the drivers of economic growth in the region.

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is an international financial institution founded by Russia and Kazakhstan in January 2006 with the mission to facilitate the development of market economies, sustainable economic growth, and the expansion of mutual trade and other economic ties in its member states. The EDB's charter capital totals US $7 billion. The member states of the Bank are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of Tajikistan.

 

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