The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded consultation related to Belarus in line with Article IV, they reported on Monday, stating that growth slowed significantly due to several issues including trade declines with Russia, geopolitical uncertainty and decreases in real incomes.
The IMF reports that Belarus remains vulnerable to economic shocks from domestic and external forces. This results in a recession-based outlook for Belarus. Should Russia, which is a top trading partner for Belarus, continue to be in a downturn, it will likely result in a contraction of approximately 2.25 percent due to decreased exports.
Pressure from exchange-rate depreciation was alleviated due to administrative actions, but this also limited external financing. With this in mind, the Executive Board encourages a reorganization of policies that promote stability and recovery that should include wage increases.
The IMF is open to Belarus authorities' plans to make the exchange rate more flexible and last year's directed lending reduction. The IMF would require commitment on the part of Belarus leadership to move forward with IMF-supported programs that could benefit the country.