Increase in wages and priming of economy could lead to inflation mid-term
According to HSE analysts (The Higher School of Economics, Russia), despite the gradual reduction in inflation in Belarus, a reduction in consumer loan rates, higher wages and pensions, and an increase in concessional lending would eventually lead to inflation in the medium term. According to Belstat, July 2017 was marked by deflation, which led to a 0.1% decrease in consumer prices. Since early 2017, prices have increased by 3.3%. An increase in tariffs for utility services is on the way. Due to the increase in the labour cost at enterprises amid pay rises, prices for food products and some non-food products are likely to increase. Modernization of refinery requires additional funds, which would lead to an increase in petrol prices. Inflation could be deterred due to a reduction in loan rates for industry and importers. If the national currency depreciated and inflation accelerated due to rising import prices, the state would resort to pricing regulation, which, in turn, would have a negative impact on financial health of producers and importers.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.