Belarusian ruble hits record YTD

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Belarusian ruble hits record since the beginning of the year. The decline of the Belarusian ruble against the currency basket was replaced by the consolidation through the simultaneous falling rates of all three currencies included in its composition. According to the National Bank of Belarus, a week at the Belarusian currency and stock exchange (BCSE) the value of the U.S. dollar declined by 0.51% to 1,9938 Bel. RUB the European currency fell by 1.34% and 2,3550 Bel. RUB Russian ruble fell by 0.91% and 3,2176 Bel. RUB over 100. The cost of the currency basket in the result of decreased within the week by 0.87%.
Since the beginning of the year, the dollar rose by 1.07%, the Euro fell 0.01%, while the Russian ruble has fallen by 6.13%. The cost of the currency basket decreased during this time by 2.81%. The Euro and the currency basket has updated the lows since the beginning of the year.
According to preliminary data, in April the volume of international reserve assets of Belarus grew by $43.5 million (+0,6%), and on may 1 was $7,038 billion in equivalent. At the request of the national Bank, the increase in reserves in April contributed to the purchase of foreign currency by the national Bank at the auction of the Belarusian currency and stock exchange, receipt of funds from sales on the domestic market by the national Bank and Ministry of Finance bonds denominated in foreign currency, the foreign currency in the budget from export duties on oil and oil products.
The consumer price index on goods and services rose in April by 0.3% YTD 2.8% over the past 12 months and by 5.0%.
The decision of the Board of the national Bank on 14 February the refinancing rate was lowered by 0.5 percentage points to 10.5%. On March 14 it was decided to leave the rate unchanged. According to the regulator, the decision to maintain interest rates reflects the desirability of maintaining neutrality of monetary conditions.
GDP in January-April 2018 rose 4.8% to the corresponding period of the previous year.
EDB forecasts to 2018 GDP growth of 2.6% in 2019 – by 2.1% in 2020 and by another 1.9 per cent. Inflation, according to the EDB, will amount to 6.0% in 2018 5.5% 2019 and 5.1% in 2020.
The IMF predicts GDP growth of 2.8% in 2018 and 2.4% in 2019. The consumer price index, according to the IMF experts, will grow in 2018 and 2019 by 6.0%.
World Bank experts expect a growth of the Belarusian economy by 2.1% in 2018 and 2.4% in 2019 and 2020. Inflation, according to WB forecasts, will reach 7.2% in 2018 and 6.5% in 2019.
The European Bank for reconstruction and development predicts economic growth of 3% in 2018 and 2019.
Experts of Agency S&P expects that in 2018-2020 GDP growth in the country average will be 2% per year.
Fitch Ratings expects growth of GDP by 2.6% in 2018 and 2.5% in 2019. Inflation (annual average), according to the Agency, will amount to 5.8% in 2018 and 6.5% in 2019.
According to the approved forecast of social-economic development of the country, and for 2018 and the main directions of the monetary policy, projected GDP growth 3.5%, inflation is expected to be not higher than 6%.
According to Alpari, the global financial markets over the past week the price of Brent crude oil increased from $76.8 per to of $78.5 per barrel, or 2.2%. Gold fell from $1318 to $1292 per Troy ounce, or 2.0%.
Vadim Iosub,
Senior analyst,