International trade successes bolster Belarusian ruble
In June 2014, the international trade surplus totalled USD 240 million (the best result in 2014).
As a result, the pressure on the foreign exchange market has reduced, the international reserves have been used at a slower pace to pay out the outstanding public debt in foreign currency, foreign currency inflows have increased due to growing exports, and some measures, such as licensing, have proved their efficiency in curbing food and industrial imports. Given the expected negative impact of the sanctions on the Russian economy, Belarus’ exports of engineering products may decrease further, but could be compensated with increased exports and higher prices on meat and dairy products.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.