“We believe every penny”: 20 facts about the Belarusian economy

  • Belarus GDP falling for the third straight year: in 2015 it declined 3.8% in 2016, by 2.6%, in the first two months of 2017 — 1%.

  • The volume of foreign investments in the Belarusian economy from 2014 to 2016 has decreased almost twice — from $15 billion to $8.6 billion.

  • 75% of Belarusian exports go to Russia and Ukraine, 80% of imports come from Russia and China. The volume of Belarusian exports outside the CIS by the end of 2016 has fallen to the level of a decade ago, while imports over this time has doubled.

  • For all time of existence of the independent Belarus, the country has maintained a negative balance of foreign trade. In 2016, the turnover amounted to $50,97 billion, of which $27,57 billion accounted for the imports.

  • The import of cars to Belarus for the last three years, fell three times, and over the past six years — five times.

  • For the period from 2008 to 2016 in Belarus began to produce ten times smaller trolleybuses, five times less than machine tools, Metalworking and Bicycle four times less than trucks and televisions, two times smaller tractors and shoes, but increased the production of gasoline, fertilizers and beer.

  • According to official figures, since 1996 the country has been the growth of immigration: live and work arrives in Belarus more people from abroad than the leaves. However, this indicator is steadily declining and by the end of 2016 amounted to only 7.9 million people — the worst result over the last ten years.
  • In the zones of radioactive contamination on the territory of the country is a home to 1.42 million people, almost one in five of them — a child under the age of 17 years.

  • By types of economic activity by the end of 2015, the first three places in the Republic were industry, trade and education in these sectors has been busy almost every second Belarusian citizen. The state administration was engaged in 185 million people — 4% of total employment in the economy.

  • According to official data, the registered unemployment rate in Belarus is only 0.8%.

  • From 2010 to 2016, the average cost of basic goods and services in Belarus increased four times. By the end of 2016, the increase amounted to 10%.

  • In 2016, the highest growth services baths — for the year from 78%. Increased significantly (25-40%), the majority of utility bills, and has risen in price for cellular services. More than 20% increase in prices on buckwheat, butter, sugar, salt, crab sticks, chocolate, chewing gum, bras, cardiovascular diseases, Newspapers and magazines, pet food, lipstick and matches.

“There is import, which we do not produce. Oranges and tangerines and other infection jumped in price. Previously, for example, bananas cost 10 thousand [non-denominated Belarusian] rubles per kilogram (about $1. — ) and now become more expensive. Who wants bananas — eat 13 thousand I do not eat bananas, and many of you too. Interrupted”. Alexander Lukashenko, 29 Jan 2015

  • For six years the cost of housing at current prices increased 4.3 times. Average cost of 1 sq. m of total area in Belarus — $829 and the most expensive meter is one-room apartments on the secondary market, the cheapest — in the bedroom on the primary.

  • The average salary in Belarus is $384. Highest in Minsk ($542), the lowest — in Mogilev region ($324). Most of the country earn IT-specialists ($1153), the least — employed in agriculture ($270) and education ($271).

  • The average pension in Belarus — $158, from 2014 to 2016, the real size of pensions decreased by 10%.

  • Real monetary incomes of the population from 2014 to 2016 fell by 13%.

  • Belarusians spend 39% of their income to buy food. Most of the spend is on meat and meat products — 11.4%, and on potatoes accounts for only 0.3%.

  • The number of Belarusian citizens who are granted state targeted social assistance is 290 thousand people, over ten years it has grown almost five times. The average payout is $18 per month.

“We have quackery in the economy no, we count every penny. How is today’s economy situation, the way we live. Although if you take the social package, we absolutely do not live worse than others. We dumped the problem on the shoulders of the people. If you raise the salary and to lose to them and housing services, and education and health care, people will not pull. We can’t do that”. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, 17 Nov 2016

  • In 2016, the number of Belarusian tourists who went abroad, fell to 496 thousand people — a third less than the year before. Even in 2005, a greater number of residents of Belarus could afford a trip abroad, then they were 572,4 thousand Despite the sharp decline in demand for overseas travel the number of travel agents and tour operators in the country has increased.

  • Arrive in Republic more foreign tourists for the last five years their number rose by 87%. However, in absolute terms, it looks a lot more modest: there are only 217,4 thousand people by the end of 2016. 78.7 percent of them — Russians.