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What do the numbers say? The main results of the Vitebsk region economy in January-August 2023

Statistical data on the work of the economy of the Vitebsk region for January–August 2023 show that the region continues to develop. Vitebsk region faced problems in agriculture, energy, but was able to ensure recovery growth in manufacturing, construction and trade, both domestic and foreign.

The GRP of the region in current prices approached 13.5 billion rubles. Due to the positive increment which start in March, the growth rate in comparable prices since the beginning of the year made 101.7 percent. However, so far it has not been possible to compensate for the decline in 2022 – the growth rate of January-July 2023 to the level of January-August 2021 made 99% (this is the third result among the regions of the republic).

Construction, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing industry, transport activities make a positive contribution to the GRP growth in the Vitebsk region.

This is the result of the intensive joint work of public administration bodies, management of organizations and their labor collectives.

The Vitebsk region has firmly taken a leading position in the growth of wholesale trade (since mid-2022), providing an impressive increase in supplies (growth by 1.6 times) and increasing its weight in the national volume. There is also a positive trend in retail turnover (an increase of 4.7%), which is caused by an increase in own consumption and the influx of tourist flow within the framework of various cultural, sports and other events and events.

Vitebsk region also ensures a steady growth in export supplies of goods (the best dynamics in the republic, 1.9 times increase) with a systematic reduction in imports (by 5%). As a result, the region has formed a positive foreign trade balance of $1.3 billion (second place after the Minsk region).

Products manufactured by Vitebsk enterprises are in demand both in domestic and foreign markets.

Industrial output has also grown by almost 3%. A positive effect is exerted by the recovery growth in the manufacturing industry (around 8%), which makes it possible to compensate for the decline in the energy sector caused by objective prerequisites – the redistribution of the load within the power system of the republic in favor of the Belarusian NPP.

The industrial complex of the region operates in accordance with market demand, as a result of which there is no increase in critical stocks of finished products, which in recent months have been in the range of 55-60% (last year the level exceeded 70%). The level of innovative production traditionally significant in the Vitebsk region, has recovered (above 36%).

In agriculture, due to the decrease in yield and gross grain harvest in comparison with the last (record) year, there is a decline in output – by the end of January-August at the level of 10%.

Production of grain and leguminous crops (without corn) as of September 1, has decreased by more than 40%. There is also a reduction in egg production by 6.5%. Agricultural organizations maintain the recovery trend only for milk production (103.0%).

Not only the weather factor and the high level of last year had a negative impact on the work of the agricultural complex of the region, but also the quantitative and qualitative personnel shortage, which does not allow for timely and high-quality compliance with all technological norms and regulations. Given the specific agro-climatic conditions, it is compliance with all deadlines and technologies of work in crop and livestock production (forage harvesting) that ensures the productivity of activities.

It should be noted that the decreased grain harvest was expected due to the negative weather impact. But nothing critical for the consumer market has happened.

If we consider the prices situation in the consumer market, then we still see their conditionality by the seasonal factor. Vegetable prices are significantly reduced (about 40%) with a small increase in a number of other items. As a result, the increase in prices for goods by December 2022 is about 2.3%, and for services - 5.9%. All this looks feasible to fulfill forecast values in the absence of significant external shocks.