Belarus’ foreign trade deficit will exceed USD 2.5 billion in 2015
According to the National Statistics Committee, in January - October 2015, foreign trade deficit totalled USD 2.1 billion. Compared with 2014, the situation has somewhat improved due to a decline in imports of capital goods and lower energy prices. However, the deficit might increase up to USD 2.5 billion by the year-end due to reduced exports of potash and nitrogen fertilizers. Russia’s ban on vegetables from Turkey is unlikely to remedy the situation, as Russia will tighten control of all fruits and vegetables, supplied via Belarus. In addition, she may restrict Belarusian dairy products on the Russian market. A further decline in prices for oil and oil products may hit Belarus’ exports with a monthly loss up to USD 2 billion.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.