“We are in a precarious situation. I hesitate to say what might happen if we fail to make at least a half step forward,” Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka says.
The head of state wants economic upswing; but in Q1, GDP growth amounted to only 0.3%.
“We expect the trend will be long-term,” Belarusian Prime Minister Andrey Kabyakou hopes.
“This is a miserable shift within a measuring error,” Belarusian economist Mikhail Zaleski believes.
Moreover, it is far from a ‘steady’ or ‘upward’ trend as the country’s economic performance is weak:
“The basic trends are order, employment in industry and investment. These three indicators are declining,”Zaleski explains.
Against this background, even the modest wage growth (1%) inspires optimism in top officials.
“In March, the average salary exceeded 770 Belarusian rubles. If you remember, at the beginning of the year it was 720, ” Mr Kabyakou reported cheerfully.
Well, what should the authorities do to provide the promised $500 month salary if the GDP leaves much to be desired? The Belarusian government does have a tested formula – taking another loan. The cheapest one may be provided by the International Monetary Fund. However, in order to obtain it, one should carry out reforms, including privatization of loss-making enterprises.