Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

GDP falls by 0.5 percent in first eight months

Belarus gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 0.5 percent year-on-year from January through August, the first fall in the countrys GDP since 1995, according to the National Statistics Committee.

Despite the global economic crisis that has hit Belarus hard, its GDP had continued growing year-on-year until this August.

After a fall of 10.4 percent in 1995, Belarus GDP rose by 2.8 percent in 1996, 11.4 percent in 1997, 8.3 percent in 1998, 3.4 percent in 1999, 5.8 percent in 2000, 4.7 percent in 2001, five percent in 2002, seven percent in 2003, 11.4 percent in 2004, 9.4 percent in 2005, 10 percent in 2006, 8.6 percent in 2007 and 10 percent last year.

The Belarusian government expected GDP to grow by 10 to 12 percent this year, but the International Monetary Fund predicted in June that the countrys gross domestic product would fall by 3.3 percent.

Industrial output shrank by 4.6 percent, while agricultural production rose by 3.3 percent in the first eight months, the National Statistics Committee said.