Disinflation could prompt National Bank to lower interest rates in economy

May 15, 2017 12:23

According to Belstat, in April 2017 consumer prices increased by 0.7%, and since early 2017 inflation totalled 2.4%. April is traditionally characterised by seasonal growth in prices for fruit and vegetable products, which leads to an overall hike in prices for food products. Control over pricing policy is likely to persist, including through administrative means. The stability of the BYN is likely to have a stabilising effect on the prices of imported goods. Wage growth is unlikely to have a significant impact on consumer demand due to further increases in tariffs for utility and housing services. The main factor which may have an impact on price hikes, except seasonal one, is overemployment and pay rises in order to meet the president’s requirement – enterprises’ production costs would grow, hence, the final price of produces would increase. The target inflation forecast for 2017 was 9%. Currently, inflation in Belarus has slowed down to 6.3% per annum, enabling the National Bank to take further steps to reduce interest rates in the economy and help reduce enterprises’ loan servicing costs.

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Death penalty discussion in Belarus: yet not ready for either abolition or moratorium
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Фота носіць ілюстрацыйны характар. Источник: https://dobromirole.blogspot.com.by Читать далее: http://www.b-g.by/society/4-chamu-pra-smyarotnae-pakaranne-belarus-paslya-razmovyi-bresce-z-alesem-byalyack-m/

The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.

In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.

The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.

There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.

That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.