Weak Russian rouble deteriorates Belarusian trade balance
According to the National Statistics Committee, in January – April 2015 Belarus’ totalled USD 934.7 million. One of the main culprits of the deteriorating foreign trade was price cuts on goods supplied to Russia and the Russian Central Bank’s intention to increase gold reserves by buying foreign currency on the market. Due to weakening of the Russian rouble, the Belarusian rouble would depreciate against the currency basket too; exporters’ foreign currency proceeds would reduce, the competition on the Russian market would increase and Belarusian companies will suffer financial losses. In addition, some prices would go up on the domestic market. In order to remedy the situation, the Belarusian government may take additional measures to limit the access of imported products to Belarusian retailers.
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.