National Bank’s discount rate reduced
The National Bank of Belarus reduced the discount rate to 38% per annum from 43% per annum on 1 March 2012.
This is good news for borrowers, as the existing rates are in effect prohibitive. At the same time, interest rates on loans are not reduced as fast and on average constitute 50-55% per annum. At the same time, gradual and substantial reduction of the discount rate threatens the stability of the banking system and the foreign exchange market: there is danger that the population of the country will start withdrawing money from ruble deposits (interest rate is linked to the discount rate) and exchange into foreign currency (at the moment the population only sells foreign currency).
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.