Belarus GDP grew by 1.2% y/y in 2019

Belarus GDP grew by 1.2% y/y in  2019
The Belarusian economy grew by 1.2% year-on-year in January-December 2019
By bne IntelliNews January 17, 2020

The Belarusian economy grew by 1.2% year-on-year in January-December 2018, according to national statistics agency Belstat.

The Belarusian government forecasts the nation's GDP to increase by 0.7% y/y in the first quarter of 2020, by 1.6% y/y in the first half of the next year, 2.2% y/y in January-September, and by 2.8% y/y over the year.

In August, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted that the nation's economic growth in will be at 0.3% y/y in 2020.

In December, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) revised downward its forecast for the growth of Belarus' real GDP in 2019 to 1.3% y/y from 2% y/y.The multinational lender also forecasts GDP growth of 1.2% y/y in 2020 (vs 1.8% y/y in its May's forecast).

In May, the EBRD said that "risks to the outlook have increased" for the Belarusian economy. "The new energy taxation system being introduced by Russia, the so-called 'tax manoeuvre,' could significantly reduce revenues of Belarus' oil refining industry, thus affecting the fiscal balance and reducing economic and export growth."

The IPM Research Center, a Minsk-based think tank, expects economic growth of 1.2% y/y in 2019, 1% y/y in 2020 and 0.8% y/y in 2021, if Russia does not recompense Belarus for the tax maneuver.

The Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC) said that growth may accelerate to 2% y/y in 2020 because the government plans to raise wages in the run-up to next year's presidential election. In the midterm, however, growth will stay at 1-2% y/y without structural reform, according to BEROC, Minsk-based news agency BelaPAN reported in December.