International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Inflation has surged to 18 percent while growth is projected to slow to 2.7 percent this year. High oil prices have strengthened fiscal and external buffers, while the revised budget increased public spending by 2½ percentage points of GDP to support activity. Subsidiaries of sanctioned Russian banks have exited the domestic market and regulatory compliance is being enhanced to avoid secondary sanctions. Risks to the outlook remain tilted to the downside, as adverse global conditions could lower oil prices and raise borrowing costs, while oil exports through Russian territory remain a major source of vulnerability. Accelerated economic diversification and private sector development are needed to attain sustainable and inclusive growth.
The remote technical assistance (TA) mission provided guidance to the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus (BelStat) on the preliminary estimates of the Financial Accounts and Balance Sheets (FABS) for 2017. The TA mission assisted with compiling the revaluation and the other changes in volume accounts to give better consistency to the financial flows and stocks and improve the reconciliation process of the FABS. BelStat is in charge of compiling the current accounts for all the institutional sectors and is starting to compile the financial accounts for which important progress has been made. To regularly compile FABS, the mission recommended that BelStat addresses the discrepancies between the net lending/borrowing from the capital and the financial account by incorporating more data sources such as government’s financial stocks and business accounting data. The TA mission also provided guidance on compiling the Financial Intermediation Services Indirectly Measured (FISIM) to get a more consistent estimate. The mission highlighted the progress made and encouraged BelStat to continue working on compiling FABS for 2017 and onwards.