Early this year, the Head of State set a task to enter a positive growth trajectory, doing everything possible to adapt the economy to unprecedented sanctions pressure. According to the idea of the authors of restrictive measures against our country, the rupture of cooperative chains with European partners was supposed to lead to the shutdown of enterprises. But the foresight of the country's leadership allowed the economy to quickly adapt to the prevailing conditions and diversify the activities of manufacturers. As a result, the industry is developing dynamically, the welfare of citizens is growing, the forecast parameters of economic development are being fulfilled. Statistics also show this. GDP grew by 3.1 percent in the first eight months of 2023. More than 80 percent of industries are in the growth zone. The main drivers of GDP growth are industry, construction and trade. All this is a good basis for the successful development of the country next year. The President of Belarus predicts reaching the pre-sanctions level of the economy in 2024. The Head of State said this when meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last week. What is the reason for successful development and what reserves are available?
Assessing the work of the Belarusian economy for eight months, it should be noted that in solving the task set by the Head of State to fulfill the most important parameters of the forecast of socio-economic development of Belarus for 2023, the Government confidently keeps the pace set in the first half of the year. In July-August, the growth rate of the Belarusian GDP increased by 1.1 percent points and made 3.1 percent in January-August. Traditionally, industry, construction and trade have made the main contribution to economic growth.
In industry, the growth rate accelerated to 107.9 percent. This is an indicator that the enterprises of our key industries have been able to adapt to new working conditions and find new markets. In addition, the growth of industry is of a qualitative nature — the share of innovative products in its total volume has significantly increased.
Investment growth continues to accelerate — in annual terms it made 110.4 percent. The construction of housing and infrastructure facilities is gaining momentum in the country; in accordance with the instruction of the Head of State "One district — one project", investment projects are being implemented in the regions to create new enterprises and industries. The costs of purchasing machinery and equipment have increased significantly, which indicates an active update of the manufacturing sector.
Domestic demand significantly supported the economy — the growth in retail turnover for eight months made 6 percent, wholesale — 9 percent. Consumer activity of citizens was supported by the growth of real disposable income. In January-July of this year, it increased by 4.5 percent compared to the same period in 2022, with an increase in salaries for the specified period by 8.4 percent. A significant support for the growth of domestic trade was provided by an almost threefold slowdown in the growth rate of consumer prices (105.6 percent in January-August this year against 115.5 percent in January-August 2022).
Despite the sanctions, foreign trade shows steady growth — 113.4 percent in January-July 2023, including exports — 106.4 percent. The share of investment goods in the structure of the export basket has increased. This indicates that we have started selling less raw materials and more finished products with high added value. And ¬Belarusian imports today are largely supplies of machines and equipment, machinery and components required to implement investment projects in the Belarusian regions.
Thus, maintaining the current trends in the development of the Belarusian economy is a reliable foundation for fulfilling the most important parameters of the forecast of socio-economic development of Belarus for the current year and a good foundation for the future.