The foreign exchange reserves of Belarus increased by $263mn, or 3% month-on-month, to $8.89bn in August following a 4.1% m/m growth in July, according to the National Bank of Belarus (NBB).
The result was mainly attributed to the purchase of foreign exchange by the NBB at the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange; proceeds from the sale of bonds denominated in foreign exchange by the Ministry of Finance and the NBB; the increased cost of monetary gold; as well as the receipt of funds in foreign exchange to the budget, including export duties on oil and oil products.
In August, the government and the NBB fulfilled external and internal foreign exchange obligations worth about $550mn.
According to the regulator’s monetary policy guidelines for 2019, the volume of international reserve assets as of January 1, 2020 should be at least $7.1bn.
Moldova’s exports contracted by 1% y/y to $266.6mn in November as the recovery in exports to the CIS was not strong enough to offset the drop in exports to the EU.
McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Hungary in April 1988 and since then it has become a dominant player in the fast food market.
Albania has historically run a substantial trade deficit caused by its narrow production and export base, and has partly funded this with remittances from Albanians living abroad.
The Belarusian government forecasts the nation's GDP to increase by 0.7% y/yin the first quarter of 2020, by 1.6% y/y in the first half of the next year, 2.2% y/y in January-September, and by 2.8% y/y over the year.
Higher prices in food, housing, hotels and restaurants, as well as culture and recreation segments drove the result, though a pick-up in core inflation also played a role.