Belarus reports 1.2% m/m inflation in October

Belarus reports 1.2% m/m inflation in October
By bne IntelliNews November 13, 2017

Inflation in Belarus stood at 1.2% month-on-month (5.3% year-on-year) in October, following a 0.3% m/m growth (4.9% y/y) in September, the national statistics agency Belstat reported on November 9.

In early November, the National Bank of Belarus (NBB)'s governor Pavel Kallaur said that the regulator predicts the key refinance rate will be cut to 10% in 2018. The central bank also estimates inflation will be about 6% in 2018.

The statement followed October's cut of the rate to 11%. In annual terms, consumer prices in the post-Soviet nation rose by 5.3% in August. Merchandise that is not subject to seasonal fluctuations and administrative regulation made a major contribution to the slowdown in annual growth rates of consumer prices, the NBU said in a statement at the time.

The share of goods in the consumer basket with prices that grew by less than 5% in annual terms increased to 63% of the total in August 2017  -- about 30% more than a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on November 9 that "further space for easing the monetary policy stance would be created by a tighter fiscal stance, lower quasi-fiscal activities, particularly directed lending, and wage increases consistent with productivity growth".

"For the medium term, the authorities should continue to lay the groundwork for the planned transition to inflation targeting, including further development of financial markets, reducing market distortions (specifically fiscal dominance), and further strengthening the NBB’s operational capacity and independence," the IMF said in a statement following the lender's mission visit to the country to conduct the Article IV consultation discussions.