Updated at 11:07,12-12-2017

GDP forecast to grow by 9.6 percent next year

Dzmitry ZAYATS, naviny.by

The government projects Belarus Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow by 9.6 percent in 2014, according to the concept of a Social and Economic Development Forecast for next year.

The projection is based on the economic growth target set out in the social and economic development program for the period between 2011 and 2015.

According to the concept, Belarus can meet the GDP target next year either by stimulating domestic demand or by increasing its exports. In an interview with BelaPAN, an expert familiar with the text of the concept said that the former scenario required an export growth of at least 11.6 percent. He warned that increased lending under the latter scenario might result in a rise in the countrys foreign trade deficit.

A draft Social and Economic Development Forecast for 2013 is to be submitted to the Council of Ministers by July 9.

In a report unveiled last week, the Research Center of the Institute for Privatization and Management predicted that Belarus GDP would grow by 3.8 percent in 2013 and by 2.5 percent in 2014.

In 2012, Belarus GDP grew by 1.5 percent, whereas the government had projected an increase of five to 5.5 percent.

The government projected a GDP growth of 8.5 percent for this year, but the National Statistical Committee reported a 1.1-percent year-on-year increase in the first five months.