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Belarus Economy Profile 2013

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Economy - overviewAs part of the former Soviet Union, Belarus had a relatively well-developed industrial base; it retained this industrial base - which is now outdated, energy inefficient, and dependent on subsidized Russian energy and preferential access to Russian markets - following the breakup of the USSR. The country also has a broad agricultural base which is inefficient and dependent on government subsidies. After an initial burst of capitalist reform from 1991-94, including privatization of state enterprises, creation of institutions of private property, and development of entrepreneurship, Belarus' economic development greatly slowed. About 80% of all industry remains in state hands, and foreign investment has been hindered by a climate hostile to business. A few banks, which had been privatized after independence, were renationalized. State banks account for 75% of the banking sector. Economic output, which had declined for several years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, revived in the mid-2000s thanks to the boom in oil prices. Belarus has only small reserves of crude oil, though it imports most of its crude oil and natural gas from Russia at prices substantially below the world market. Belarus exported refined oil products at market prices produced from Russian crude oil purchased at a steep discount. In late 2006, Russia began a process of rolling back its subsidies on oil and gas to Belarus. Tensions over Russian energy reached a peak in 2010, when Russia stopped the export of all subsidized oil to Belarus save for domestic needs. In December 2010, Russia and Belarus reached a deal to restart the export of discounted oil to Belarus. Little new foreign investment has occurred in recent years. In 2011, a financial crisis began, triggered by government directed salary hikes unsupported by commensurate productivity increases. The crisis was compounded by an increased cost in Russian energy inputs and an overvalued Belarusian ruble, and eventually led to a near three-fold devaluation of the Belarusian ruble in 2011. In November 2011, Belarus agreed to sell to Russia its remaining shares in Beltransgaz, the Belarusian natural gas pipeline operator, in exchange for reduced prices for Russian natural gas. Receiving more than half of a $3 billion loan from the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Community Bail-out Fund, a $1 billion loan from the Russian state-owned bank Sberbank, and the $2.5 billion sale of Beltranzgas to Russian state-owned Gazprom helped stabilize the situation in 2012; nevertheless, the Belarusian currency lost more than 60% of its value, as the rate of inflation reached 53% in 2011 and 59% in 2012.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$149.2 billion (2012 est.)
$147 billion (2011 est.)
$139.2 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$63.26 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.5% (2012 est.)
5.5% (2011 est.)
7.7% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$15,900 (2012 est.)
$15,600 (2011 est.)
$14,700 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving31.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
29.2% of GDP (2011 est.)
26.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 46.7%
government consumption: 14.6%
investment in fixed capital: 32.8%
investment in inventories: 1.6%
exports of goods and services: 81.6%
imports of goods and services: -77.1%
(2012 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 9.1%
industry: 47.2%
services: 43.7% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line27.1% (2003 est.)
Labor force5 million (2009)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 9.4%
industry: 45.9%
services: 44.7% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate1% (2009 est.)
1.6% (2005)
note: official registered unemployed; large number of underemployed workers
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 21.9% (2008)
Distribution of family income - Gini index27.2 (2008)
21.7 (1998)
Investment (gross fixed)32.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $22.38 billion
expenditures: $21.96 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues35.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt31.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
48.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)59.1% (2012 est.)
53.3% (2011 est.)
Central bank discount rate10.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
13.5% (31 December 2009 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate19.49% (31 December 2012 est.)
13.58% (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of narrow money$4.018 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$2.436 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of broad money$13.32 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$16.75 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$19.82 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$13.29 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productsgrain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk
Industriesmetal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, televisions, synthetic fibers, fertilizer, textiles, radios, refrigerators
Industrial production growth rate4% (2012 est.)
Current Account Balance-$3.067 billion (2012 est.)
-$5.775 billion (2011 est.)
Exports$45.51 billion (2012 est.)
$40.93 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partnersRussia 35.4%, Netherlands 16.5%, Ukraine 12.1%, Latvia 7.1% (2012)
Imports$45.01 billion (2012 est.)
$44.39 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, metals
Imports - partnersRussia 59.3%, Germany 5.9%, China 5.1%, Ukraine 5% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$5.809 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$6.011 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external$34.12 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$34.02 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Exchange ratesBelarusian rubles (BYB/BYR) per US dollar -
8,336.9 (2012 est.)
4,974.6 (2011 est.)
2,978.5 (2010 est.)
2,789.49 (2009)
2,130 (2008)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of February 21, 2013