Belarus managed to avoid production slump amid the global crisis

Belarus managed to avoid rapid slump in production and preserve relative macroeconomic stability due to the well-timed anti-crisis measures. The statement to this effect was made by Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Potupchik at the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly.

Vladimir Potupchik said that the economic conditions were complicated this year. The economic activity dropped; it became hard to obtain loans. The recession was much longer than it was predicted by experts.

Belarus was, until recently, one of the few countries with growing GDP. In January-June 2009, GDP edged up by 0.3%, in January-July - inched up by 0.4%. Only in January-August the GDP decreased by 0.5%, and in January-September, GDP totaled 99.7% on the same period 2008.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, in January-September 2009, the industrial output was 95.5% and the consumer goods production - 99.4% as against the same period of 2008. The growth rate of agriculture industry was 2.4% over the same period 2008.

In the future the Belarusian construction sector may become the locomotive of the economic growth, Vice Premier Vladimir Potupchik said.

"The growth in housing construction can help address both the social and economic problems. It also ensures business activity in other branches of the national economy," Vladimir Potupchik.

In January-September this year, Belarus commissioned 4.5 million square meters of housing or 75% of this year's task. In the period under review, the housing construction was up 15.3%, or by 600,000 square meters, as against the same period of last year.

Vladimir Potupchik also touched upon the problem related to the warehouse overstocking. In January-September, the warehouse stocks accounted for 77.8% of the monthly average output at industrial companies (down 2.4% as against January-August).

The problem of overstocking of the goods which have a significant share of imported components caused the growth in foreign trade deficit. In January-September, Belarus posted a deficit in foreign trade at the amount of more than USD 3.5 billion while the target for 2009 was no more than 1.5 billion.



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