According to the results of the estimates obtained, the business activity index in March is shifted into the positive territory, amounting to 50.6 (in February this year it was 49.0). The indicator exceeded the threshold value (50) for the first time since the beginning of 2020. Director of the Monetary Policy Department of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zhandos Shaimardanov said this.
The increase in the index was largely due to the increase in the service and industrial sectors, where it rose to 51.2 and 50.2, respectively (49.2 and 49.0 in February, respectively). At the same time, the indicator in construction fell to 46.5 (47.4 in February).
In the context of regions, in March in 10 regions there was an improvement in business activity, in 7 regions there was a deterioration. The highest level of business activity was noted in the North Kazakhstan (60.9) and Kostanay (56.9) regions, the lowest was noted in the Turkestan region (42.3).
Enterprises of the real sector assessed the current business environment in March positively: the balance of answers between positive and negative assessments was 1.5 (in February it was 0.4).
According to enterprises, the demand for products and services was improved, especially for industrial and service enterprises. Enterprises in the construction sector reported a slight decrease in demand. Infrastructure, access to finance and credit generally were improved slightly. The tax burden and business protection issues remain to be the factors that have a negative impact on the business environment.
The optimism of enterprises regarding business conditions for the next 6 months decreased slightly: the assessment of future conditions amounted to 18.6 (in February it was 24.0). As a result, in March the business climate index amounted to 9.9 (in February it was 11.9).
In 2020, Belarusian meat processors managed to increase the production of sausages and smoked meats due to the growth of domestic demand amid the coronavirus epidemic, as well as due to the favorable conjuncture of the Russian market.
2020 not only did not solve the problems of Belarus, but also added new ones. So, the expectations that next year it will be possible to get significant benefits due to lower energy prices, were not satisfied: the gas price remains at the level of 2020, and the oil price will even increase due to the tax maneuver in Russia. The question of the timing of the receipt of the second part of the Russian loan funds remains unresolved.
The US Congress approved the 2020 Bill of Belarusian Democracy, Human Rights and Sovereignty.
In January-September 2020, the GDP of Belarus amounted to BYN 106.6 billion, or in comparable prices 98.7% over the same period in 2019. In addition to the coronavirus epidemic and two currency crises, the main impact on the economic decline was made by the decrease in turnover in the petrochemistry and mechanical engineering.
Among other obvious factors, the protests in Belarus were the result of global changes in the economy. The old model, the tangible industrial one, is more and more moving aside, and it is being replaced by a new, information technology model generally known as postindustrial.