This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of Belarus contracted by 3.9 percent in 2015, with a similar performance in the first half of 2016. The exchange rate depreciated sharply during 2015 and part of 2016. Real wages are down substantially relative to 2014, and corporate losses are up. Unemployment has risen somewhat, though it remains relatively low. The economy is expected to contract further in 2016 and in 2017, reflecting still-weak balance sheets and structural impediments. A subdued recovery is expected in 2018, but over the medium term, potential growth is expected to increase only to about 1.75 percent, limited by negative demographic developments and low productivity growth.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Russian Federation’s growth slowdown that began in 2011, reflecting structural constraints, continued in 2013 despite accommodative policies. Real GDP growth slowed to 1.3 percent owing to a contraction in investment while consumption remained robust owing to strong real wage growth and an unsecured consumer credit boom. The general government balance moved from a modest surplus in 2012 to a deficit of slightly more than 1 percent of GDP in 2013. The IMF staff projects real GDP growth at 0.2 percent in 2014 with considerable downside risks.
This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that Belarus has so far escaped a significant fall in output, despite a sharp fall in external demand. GDP declined 0.5 percent year over year in the first eight months of 2009, comparing favorably to Belarus’ main trading partners. Economic activity has been bolstered by strong domestic demand, especially for housing construction financed under government programs. Executive Directors have applauded the authorities’ commitment to a tight fiscal policy, with revenue shortfalls being offset by spending restraint while protecting priority social spending.
This Detailed Assessment of the Observance of Core Principles for Systemically Important Payment Systems (CPSS), Belarus Interbank Settlement System (BISS): RTGS Service on the Republic of Belarus reviews the core principles for systematically important payment systems. BISS offers the possibility to reserve funds in view of being used for certain specific purposes. Financial market activities in Belarusian rubel are limited, but potentially emerging. Although the Belarus Bankers Association in principle provides a forum for cooperation between banks, in payment system issues, it currently does not play an important role.
This technical note on Transparency of Monetary Policy on the Republic of Belarus highlights the open process for formulating and reporting of monetary policy discussions. The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) displays a satisfactory degree of transparency in formulation and implementation of its monetary policy. The NBRB demonstrates a good degree of transparency with regard to the reporting of monetary policy decisions. Regarding the code of conduct, officials and selected staff of the NBRB have access to privileged financial-related information that could be used for their personal financial gain.
This paper assesses the Russian Federation’s 2001 Article IV Consultation and Post-Program Monitoring Discussions. Improved economic performance and reduced external vulnerability were reflected in a strengthening of financial market indicators in 2001. The Russian stock market doubled in U.S. dollar terms, bond spreads narrowed significantly, and rating agencies upgraded Russia’s debt. The near- to medium-term outlook remains favorable. The recent successes in building up strong external and fiscal positions should enable Russia to deal with the current less favorable external environment with the prevailing policy framework.