Minsk, March 28, 2014 - Macroeconomic stability and fundamental structural reforms are important for putting Belarus on a sustainable growth path, says a World Bank Economic Update for Belarus.
A weak external environment, accumulated macroeconomic imbalances, and delays in structural reforms have put Belarus on a low growth path. Real GDP grew tepidly at 0.9 percent in 2013. This weak growth came mainly from expansion in domestic demand while net exports registered a sharp decline. Inflation stayed high at 16.5 percent by the end of the year. On the fiscal front, while government budget achieved a small surplus, recapitalization of state-owned banks weakened the fiscal position. Externally, current account deficit reached over 10 percent of GDP. The economic outlook for 2014 shows significant challenges ahead if global conditions remain weak, domestic macroeconomic problems continue, and structural reforms are delayed. Immediate corrective actions – macroeconomic stabilization and carefully-sequenced structural reforms – are needed to put Belarus on a robust growth path.