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Some good indicators of recovery

GDP growth, inflation, imports and private sector development are priorities at recent Council of Ministers meeting
By Victor Hromov

Conclusions were drawn on the first half of the year and prospects defined for the future. Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich noted, “The results indicate economic growth.” Meeting goals, stability on currency and consumer markets and increasing the value of people’s incomes are additional bonuses but the PM stresses that it’s too early to talk of coming out of the recession completely.

Reliance on industry
As ever, we cannot speak of stable economic growth without modernisation and the creation of new enterprises. The latest state programme (for the period until 2020) plans to invest over $70bn in modernising the industrial sphere, with particular enterprises integrating into transnational corporations: machine tool building, electro-technical and electrical industries.

Potential exists
Next year, the state plans to invest $3.6bn into developing farming — from budget and credit resources. In comparison, from 2005-2010 (the ‘obese’ years), about $3.2bn was invested in agriculture. Of course, investments are expected to yield profit; according to the Government, good results are evident, with exports of meat and milk reaching $2.8bn last year and $3.1bn forecast for 2012. However, experts say that there are many unrealised possibilities.

Housing — for those in need
In 2013, Government support of housing is to rise, with 1.5-fold more accommodation built (costing $2.4bn). Infrastructure financing is to rise 3.2-fold, costing almost $1bn! The Government promises that large families will receive housing within 3 years of registration; military families will be homed within 5 years in the regions and within 7 years in Minsk.

Tasks for the future
Goods and services should rise in export value by 15.2 percent next year. “We need to see a positive balance of trade of at least $0.5bn,” stresses the PM. Talking about GDP growth, he emphasises that the level of 8.5 percent is ‘as expected’. Inflation is to remain within 12 percent.

Health and education remain priorities for budgetary spending, taking 13.6 and 17.6 percent respectively from budgets at all levels (up in real terms this year). In August, the Government will show the President its socio-economic forecast and will outline the major directions for monetary policy in 2013. 
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