Trade turnover in 2017 will grow due to wage growth in Belarus
According to Belstat, in January-May 2017, retail trade turnover totalled BYN 14.8 billion or 99.9% of 2016. In early 2017, the decline in retail trade turnover was 4.6%. As real wages grow, the turnover of goods is restoring. In May 2017, wages increased to BYN 795, which was 4% higher than wages in May 2016. Retail trade turnover is likely to continue to increase, retailers are likely to launch new advertising campaigns to increase their market share, and the situation with settlements between suppliers and retailers is likely to improve. Taking into account the expected further wage growth, the retail turnover index in Q1 2017 is likely to outpace Q1 2016, retail chains are likely to change their staffing policy, which would reduce personnel turnover and gradually increase wages in line with the general trend on the labour market.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.