National Bank of Belarus will have to turn on the printing press again to execute plans for strengthening the national currency, believes Belarusian economist Leonid Zlotnikov.
"I think there won’t be any tight monetary policy; the government is forced to print money," said the expert.
According to the economist, the Belarusian authorities will succeed in curbing the fx rates growth only in case of tight monetary policy, or privatization and attraction of foreign loans, reports the Belarusian service of Radio Liberty.
"There will, probably, less foreign loans than this year. Over the past few months Belarus received more than $3 billion, but the next year won’t see such an income", said the economist.
According to Leonid Zlotnikov, the Belarusian authorities will continue the same economic policies, which they’ve held so far – implementation of investment programs, increase in public sector wages, which won’t let them keep inflation in check and, consequently, force to re-enable the printing press.
"Investment programs demand hard currency, but it’s not known when they are going to bring the returns. They will be pulled both the exchange rate and inflation down. Also remember that in 2012, one will have to repay huge debts, taken earlier. So the circumstances are that favorable as described by Ermakova in her policy course," summed up the economist.
According to forecasts of the National Bank of Belarus in 2012, the average dollar exchange rate is going to amount to about Br9.150. As stated by chairman of the National Bank Nadezhda Ermakova on December 7, it’s "the most pessimistic forecast."
National Bank also predicts that the refinancing rate will reach 30-35% per annum in 2012. The National Bank expects the year-end rate of 20-23%, while inflation should make no more than 19-22%.