Real wages in Belarus in 2017 could exceed those in 2016
According to the National Statistics Committee, in January 2017, nominal wage in Belarus totalled BYN 720.7, which was BYN 80.9 less than in December 2016. Real wages and salaries constituted 99.8%, which was due to a seasonal phenomenon and the end-of-year bonus payments common in December. In the coming months, wages are likely to grow, mainly due to layoffs in the construction, agriculture and some industrial production sectors. Bearing in mind the task to report USD 500 wages by the year-end, enterprises could manipulate with employee population by outsourcing the lowest paid workers or services. The decline in consumer inflation will have a positive impact on real wages, which could exceed those in 2016 as early as H1 2017.
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.