22 April 2018, Sunday, 5:54

The Debt Pit for the Regime


The collapse of the Russian ruble will also drag the Belarusian economy.

In January-May 2017 the gross domestic product of Belarus increased by 0.9% compared to the same period in 2016 and amounted to 38.7 billion rubles, the National Statistical Committee notes.

According to the forecast of the country's social and economic development, the government of Belarus expects GDP growth of 1.7% in 2017.

According to the IMF, the country's GDP will decrease by 0.8% this year, zautra.by writes.

The World Bank predicts a decrease in the real GDP of Belarus by 0.4% in 2017.

EDB and EBRD predict a 0.5% drop.

What is the ground for GDP growth in Belarus? What forecasts are true?

According to the candidate of economic sciences Leanid Zlotnikau, the growth of the Belarusian GDP is grounded on the Russian ruble and the policy of the Central Bank of Russia: the Russian ruble was 65-67 rubles against dollar for a year and a half, and now it is 53-54 rubles.

- 40% of our imports go to Russia, the same amount of Belarusian exports to Russia converted into dollar terms now give 10% more. This year oil prices increased by 15-20% compared to the beginning of 2016. It caused growth in world food prices and in dollar terms Belarus got one and a half times more of profit almost at the same amount of food exported to Russia, the expert states.

He is convinced that these external factors proved to be more influential than domestic ones.

- At the beginning of the year the Belarusian industry increased the volume of exports and sales, but at the same time, in the first quarter, accounts receivable grew by 10% in the industry. This means that we delivered food, but did not get money for it, the economist notes.

Bank debts are growing, and the tension in the banking system is also increasing. Instructions to provide loans of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Minsk Tractor Plant or the Belarusian Metallurgical Plant in Zhlobin are given.

"For example, the Zhlobin plant barely reached the $17.000 profit for the past year. Considering that previously they increased their debts, this profit can hardly be called growth, although this is better than losses, Leanid Zlotnikau believes.

This year, according to his forecasts, there will be no such conditions this year..

- Oil prices are gradually declining. America will work to supply Europe with gas and oil, we can expect that prices will drop again, the interlocutor says. - The exchange rate of the Russian ruble against the dollar begins to fall, and the profitability of our trade with Russia will also decline.

If a certain percentage of GDP growth happens, it will not change the situation, Leanid Zlotnikau believes.

"We are in a debt pit, our debts are growing. If the debt amounted to 2-3 percent of the resource of the banking system a year ago, now it is bigger and the tension in the banking system is also growing.