The government has forecast that GDP will grow by 4.1% next year, EconMin Vladimir Zinovsky announced yesterday. He said 1.7pps of growth would come from external demand and another 2.4pps would be generated in Belarus, on the back of a nuclear plant construction. Real disposable incomes are projected to grow by 3.4% next year, said Zinovsky. The main tasks for next year are to increase income and cut unemployment, he said.
Official unemployment in Belarus has been very low at 0.5%-0.7%, but real unemployment was estimated by the stats service at 5.1% for Q1 2018. GDP forecasts for next year from IFIs have been rather conservative. The Russia-led Eurasian Development Bank earlier this month forecast 1.9% growth next year, while the EBRD, the IMF and the World Bank earlier this year predicted growth within 2%-3%. As far as this year is concerned, growth by 3% or more is expected.