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Why Are Prices Growing in Belarus?

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Why Are Prices Growing in Belarus?
Photo: TUT.BY

The numbers are impressive.

This year marks five years since the denomination of the Belarusian ruble - from the second half of 2016, 10 thousand rubles of the old model were equated to 1 ruble. Of course, many had the hope that Belarusian rubles would become real money, in which prices could be counted, while prices themselves would stabilize, and investment processes would intensify. Alas, not yet.

Let's remember how much it cost on the eve of the denomination and look at the current price tags. The statistics give us the latest prices for comparison for March of this year, and we will make a start from them. I'll make a reservation right away: you don't need to take these statistics as official, they are my personal, one might say, everyday statistics - to understand the general processes.

Here are some conclusions and hypotheses.

1. Prices for food and some non-food products that I buy relatively regularly have grown by about a third in five years.

2. The Belarusian producers of these goods and the owners of retail chains in matters of pricing, most likely, are still guided by the exchange rate of the US dollar.

3. The honorable outsiders of my rating with the lowest rates of price growth were imported goods - jeans and herring. And, apparently, this is because their manufacturers look at the dollar less than ours. More precisely, they are looking at a decrease in its purchasing power (by about 10% over the past five years) and, a little ahead of time, they correct the price tag.

4. Potato, what's going on with you in the potato kingdom? Why are you so rapidly becoming more expensive - more than twice in five years?!

I had only one excuse for this: the potato has ceased to be a mass agricultural crop in personal household plots. Grandmothers and grandfathers - traditional producers of potatoes - left the bazaar, stopped holding prices down with their offer, and the wild market imposed its strict margins there.

Instead of a conclusion, I will cite a fragment of a recent conversation with an entrepreneur I know.

- Have you raised prices since the new year?

- And I increase it by 10% every year in order to keep up with inflation.

- And if inflation is lower by the end of the year?

- If it’s lower, - the comrade explains, - then I’ll just win something. But I certainly won't lose.

That's iron logic, which was forged for decades, while the Belarusian authorities added and removed zeros from banknotes.

Vital Chuyasau, Office Life