By Q3 2017 household income may exceed that in 2016
In H1 2017, people’s real income decreased by 0.8% as compared with H1 2016. The decrease in the monetary income was due a decrease in income from deposits and a reduction in pensions, while wages increased by 2.3% compared with 2016. Wages are likely to continue to grow, which should have a positive effect on available monetary income, and reduced inflation should improve the dynamics of the indicator. Incomes from deposits would reduce due to the National Bank’s policy aimed to reduce the discount rate, and the deficit in the social protection fund would prevent pensions from growing. Amid the president’s task to increase wages, cash income by the year-end could exceed the level of 2016, provided, that control over consumer prices in the country be preserved.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.