Debts for consumed energy resources and loans grow
On March, 1, 2012, Belarus’ arrears for fuel and energy resources amounted to Br 1.437 trillion. Compared with the beginning of the year the increase is 55%, including 50% in February.
In particular, domestic arrears for natural gas reached Br 1.120 trillion – increased by 75.8% since the beginning of the year, including 66.7% in February.
Arrears for electricity amounted to Br 113.5 billion, up by 12.9% since the beginning of the year, including 2.9% in February. External arrears for energy resources have decreased by Br 2 billion as of March 1, from 3.7 billion at the beginning of the year.
The volume of bad foreign currency loans issued to legal entities increased by 1.9 times in the first quarter of 2012. In March, the number of bad foreign currency loans increased by 44.3% against 9.8% in February and 21.7% in January. The number of bad ruble loans increased by 41.8% since the beginning of the year, including 17.9% in March.
The growth of debts on loans, accounts payable and receivable, arrears for consumed energy resources demonstrate gradual accumulation of problems in the Belarusian economy, regardless of formally positive macro-economic statistics.
The majority of the Belarusian enterprises work in the conditions of recession, reduced solvent demand and relying on state support. Rising costs combined with low competitiveness reduce chances for restructuring and recovery of enterprises.
Further tightening of monetary and fiscal policies will result in even greater debts and will increase the risk of systemic economic crisis.