Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Official economists suggest devaluation

charter97.org

It would have sense to carry out a soft gradual devaluation of the national currency.

This opinion was expressed by Viktar Pinihin, the first deputy director of the Economic Research Institute of the Ministry of Economy, in his article published in the July issue of Economic Bulletin, BelaPAN news agency reports.

Pinihin notes "a rather fast appreciation of the ruble real exchange rate (the inflation rate is far higher than the devaluation rate)".

"As a result, Belarusian goods are losing the competitive advantages gained after the 2011 ruble devaluation. On the other hand, the National Bank continues to buy foreign currency in the currency market in order not to allow excessive appreciation of the Belarusian ruble," Pinihin wrote in his article.

The economist thinks that measures taken by the National Bank allow replenishing the country's foreign currency and gold reserves.

"For increasing competitive abilities of Belarus's economy it seems reasonable to carry out a soft gradual devaluation of the national currency in the short term on the basis of supplying the growing demand for the foreign currency by the state given that the state really needs it," the first director of the Research Economic Institute says.

The devaluation rate should be tied to the Russian ruble depreciation, the economist suggests.

"It is possible to be guided by the index of the Russian ruble devaluation against the dollar that has been carrying out by Russia since the beginning of the year to protect its national market after the WTO accession (instead of the tariff protection) and increase price competitiveness of Russian manufacturers in the international market," Pinihin supposes.