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The analyst explains: The results of the economy of the Vitebsk region for 9 months of 2023

Data published on the socio-economic development of the regions for the first nine months of 2023. What is to be paid attention?

Sergey Kochetov, Head of Social and Economic Issues Group of the Vitbichi newspaper, talks with Andrei Mishin, analyst at the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research, about the socio-economic development of the region following the first nine months of 2023 outcomes.

  • The economic complex of the region continues to work and develop. The decline in some areas was predictable and is currently offset by positive dynamics in other areas.
  • There is a positive trend in the growth of the gross regional product (GRP) of the region. As a result, there was a 1.8 percent increase in the first nine months of 2023. However, it still compensates for the decline of a hard 2022: the growth rate for January—September 2023 against the same period in 2021 is 99.4 percent (this is the third result among the regions of the republic along with the Minsk region).
  • The effective work of wholesale and retail trade organizations, the workload of the construction complex, and the demand for products of manufacturing enterprises have a positive impact on GRP growth. In many ways, the dynamics of the main indicators is formed by the favorable situation in the markets of friendly countries.
  • The growth of industrial output by 2.7 percent was ensured. The recovery growth in the manufacturing industry (around eight percent) has a positive impact, which makes it possible to compensate for the planned decline in the energy sector (due to the replacement of traditional energy with nuclear power, taking into account load balancing within the Belarusian energy system).
  • The overall growth of production in the manufacturing industry is also accompanied by the restoration of the volume of innovative products (about 36 percent), which has distinguished the industrial complex of the Vitebsk region for many years.
  • Wholesale and retail trade account for almost seven percent of the value added in the region, second only to manufacturing and agriculture in importance, but significantly ahead of them in terms of resilience and growth.
  • Vitebsk region has been a leader in terms of the growth rate of wholesale trade since mid-2022 and has been ahead of the Minsk region in terms of the absolute value of trade turnover for nine months, and the rest of the region is consistently ahead at times.
  • In foreign trade, Vitebsk region provides a steady growth in exports of goods (the best dynamics in the republic is an increase of 1.8 times) with a stable volume of imports of goods. As a result, in January — August the region generated a positive foreign trade balance of US$1.5 billion in January — August (second place after the Minsk region).
  • Also, the positive dynamics in retail turnover is also persists (an increase of 5.2 percent). However, according to this indicator, we are inferior to the smaller Grodno region. A limiting factor for the growth of retail trade is the low level of wages (1,553.5 rubles based on January – August results, lower only in the Mogilev region). Also, closing by the Lithuanian and Latvian sides of the border crossings on the border with the Braslav district (from August 18, Tvyaryachyus — Vidzy, from September 19, Silene — Urbany) has a negative impact.

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Author: Photo by Oleg KLIMOVICH.