National Bank will reduce transparency of data on international reserves
As of July 1st, 2017, the National Bank will stop publishing data on international reserves according to the national methodology, albeit will continue publishing data by the IMF standard. Unlike the IMF standard, assets in currencies other than the hard currency (eg Russian rouble) and assets which do not comply with highly liquid asset requirements (precious stones, silver bars) are included in the national definition of reserve assets. After the Chinese yuan has become the hard currency, the reserves calculated by each methodology have become closer. International reserves are likely to grow by the IMF standard due to the transfer of some assets from the national standard to the IMF standard, and a new USD 700 million loan from Russia before H2 2017, which would permit to service public debt in 2017. New bond issues by the Finance Ministry and the National Bank on the domestic market would enjoy an increase in demand due to reduced interest rates on private currency deposits. Data on international reserves by the national standard made it possible to estimate the entire amount of funds at the National Bank’s disposal and its non-availability would reduce the transparency in the reasons behind the changes in international reserves.
The country's leadership has instructed the local authorities to raise minimum wages at enterprises by the end of 2019 to BYN 1,000, which would lead to an increase in the average wage in the economy as a whole to BYN 1 500. The pace of wage growth in 2017 is insufficient to ensure payroll at BYN 1000 by late 2017 without manipulating statistical indicators. In order to fulfil the president’s order, the government would have to increase budgetary expenditures on wages in healthcare and education, enterprises – to carry out further layoffs and expand the practice of taking loans to pay wages and restrict investment in modernisation of fixed assets. In 2010, the artificial increase in wages led to a threefold devaluation in 2011, an increase in the average salary to BYN 1500 will not match the capabilities of the economy and would lead to yet another devaluation.