The Belarusian ruble is strengthening against the currency basket for the second week in a row and again – due to the depreciation of the Russian ruble. According to the National Bank of Belarus, over the past week on the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange (BCSE), the value of the US dollar grew by 1.23%, to 2.2391 bel. rub. The European currency grew by 3.31% and costs 2.4675 bel. rub. The Russian ruble has fallen in price by 2.89% and costs 3.3406 bel. rub. for 100 Russian. As a result, the value of the currency basket decreased by 0.45% over the week.
Since the beginning of the year, the dollar has risen in price by 6.44%, the euro has risen in price by 4.89%, and the Russian ruble has fallen in price by 1.87%. The value of the currency basket has grown by 1.90% during this time. At the same time, the dollar and the euro by the end of the week have updated highs, and the Russian ruble – lows since the beginning of the year.
If the panic over the coronavirus in the world does not stop, then oil may continue to fall in price, and after it the Russian ruble will continue to fall in price. In this case, by the end of the week, the dollar may rise in price to 2.27 bel. rub., the euro can grow up to 2.55 bel. rub. And the Russian ruble may drop to 3.24 bel. rub. for 100 Russian.
In January, the volume of international reserve assets of the Republic of Belarus decreased by $ 150.4 million (-1.6%) and on February 1 amounted to $ 9.243 billion in equivalent. According to the National Bank, the decrease in reserves following the results of January is due to the planned repayment by the Government and the National Bank of external and internal obligations in foreign currency totaling $ 556 million.
By a decision of the Board of the National Bank on February 19, the refinancing rate was reduced by 25 bp to 8.75%. The regulator expects that this year inflation will be within the established price target of 5%. External conditions will remain favorable for price dynamics in the country, and inflationary pressure is not expected from the domestic economy. The next meeting of the Board of the NB RB on monetary policy is scheduled for May 13.
The consumer price index for goods and services in January increased by 0.9% compared with the previous month, the growth over the past 12 months amounted to 4.7%.
GDP in comparable prices in January decreased by 1.9% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
According to the approved forecast of socio-economic development of the country for 2020 and the main directions of monetary policy, GDP is projected to grow by 2.8%, inflation is expected to be no more than 5%.
Vadim Iosub, Senior Analyst, IAC “Alpari”