Belarus: On Slippery Slope

“Fast facts” from Belarus’s official socio-economic data

Virtually all of the transition and developing economies in Europe and Central Asia have emerged from the worst of the global financial crisis. In contrast to the rest of the region, however, Belarus is now experiencing a serious episode of macroeconomic instability, which could have significant implications for poverty and socio-economic vulnerability. This instability, which is driven by the country’s unsustainable external position and unfolding currency crisis, is not yet robustly evident in official data on output, incomes, and unemployment. However, it is quite visible in Belarus’s inflation and exchange rate trends. This article provides a brief overview of these trends, and considers their possible implications for living standards—especially for vulnerable households—in Belarus.

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