Real wages in national currency in 2016 may exceed 2015-level
According to the National Statistics Committee, gross salary in Belarus in July reached BYR 745.8 or 94.7% of that in July 2015. Real wages reduced due to high inflation rate and restricted wage growth in most economic sectors. In the coming months, wages are likely to grow smoothly, which should improve the retail sale situation. The population will be the net seller of foreign currency in order to preserve current consumption levels. Starting from August 2015, wages were falling, which created a low comparative base for 2016. Hence, real wages, adjusted for inflation, may exceed those in 2015 by October-November 2016.
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.