Belarus’ Gross Domestic Product is expected to increase by only 0.5 percent in 2012, which will be down from the previous year's level, says the World Bank in the newly-released 2012 Global Economic Prospects (GEP).
But the WB projects the country's GDP growth at 3.5 percent next year.
In accordance with its social and economic development forecast for 2012, the government of Belarus expects GDP to increase by between five and 5.5 percent this year.
In its report, issued twice a year, the WB warns that the recent rise in oil prices is likely to yield a new acceleration of inflation in many countries in Europe and Central Asia, which, in the case of Belarus, "may by exacerbated by planned increases in regulated prices" and a devaluation of its currency.
Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine are projected to see a four-percent economic growth on the average between 2011 and 2013, the WB says. However, these economies face "significant potential downside risks", given their large account deficits, as far as Belarus and Moldova are concerned, and their relatively undiversified economies (and, in the case of Belarus, due to its "over-reliance" on the Russian market for its exports), it notes.
The WB has cut its growth forecast for developing countries this year to 5.4 percent from 6.2 percent and for developed countries to 1.4 percent from 2.7 percent. For the 17 countries that use the euro currency, the bank forecasts a contraction.
"The global economy is entering into a new phase of uncertainty and danger", said the WB’s chief economist, Justin Yifu Lin. "The risks of a global freezing up of capital markets as well as a global crisis similar to what happened in September 2008 are real".
In the event of a major crisis, "no country will be spared", Mr. Lin said. "The downturn is likely to be longer and deeper than the last one".