Social and Economic Forecasting in the Republic of Belarus
Social and economic forecasting in the Republic of Belarus is done in accordance with Resolution No. 1321 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated 20 August 1998 “On Measures to Enforce the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On State Forecasting and Programs of Social and Economic Development of the Republic of Belarus.”
Social and economic forecasting in the Republic of Belarus is an activity of state bodies (under the supervision of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus) aimed at preparing forecasts of the nation’s social and economic development for the long, medium and short terms.
A social and economic forecast is a system of science-based ideas about the trajectory, criteria, principles, goals and priorities of social and economic development of the Republic of Belarus for a specific period of time with an indication of the main forecast parameters, targets and actions to meet them.
Social and economic forecasts are based on a comprehensive analysis of the social, economic, demographic and ecological situation, scientific, technical and industrial potential of the Republic of Belarus, situation outside the country, the nation’s natural resources and the possible changes in the afore-mentioned factors. Several variants of social and economic forecasts are prepared at a time, allowing for the possible impact of internal and external political, economic and other factors.
Social and economic forecasts include a quantity- and quality-based assessment of the macroeconomic situation, economic and social structure, level of the nation’s scientific and technological advancement, foreign trade, production and consumption trends and patterns, level and quality of life, ecological situation.
Social and economic forecasts are prepared for the nation at large, for specific industries and economic sectors, and for administrative and territorial units.
The system of state forecasting of social and economic development of the Republic of Belarus includes the following components:
1. State forecasting of social and economic development of the Republic of Belarus for the long term: the national strategy for sustainable social and economic development of the Republic of Belarus for 15 years (hereinafter referred to as the national sustainable socio-economic development strategy); prepared once every five years for a 15-year period two and a half years prior to the beginning of the forecast period; underpins national socio-economic and sci-tech policy for the mentioned period.
The national sustainable socio-economic development strategy identifies the ways of efficient development of the nation’s demographic, social, natural, industrial and innovation potential by taking into account the state of natural environment, among other factors.
2. The five-year medium-term social and economic development program is prepared a year prior to the beginning of the forecast period.
This program reflects the following aspects:
- an assessment of the nation’s social and economic development over the previous period and the state of the economy of the Republic of Belarus;
- the concept underlying the medium-term socio-economic development program;
- the macroeconomic policy including the budget, fiscal, monetary, credit and exchange rate policy;
- investment and structural policy;
- foreign economic policy;
- development of the real production sector;
- social policy;
- ecological and environmental challenges.
The medium-term socio-economic development program is approved by the President of the Republic of Belarus.
Medium-term socio-economic development programs are used during preparation of short-term socio-economic forecasts.
3. The short-term socio-economic forecast is prepared on an annual basis (further on referred to as the annual socio-economic development forecast).
This type of forecast is comprised of the following components:
- a list of the main socio-economic development indicators, socio-economic challenges and objectives that the State will focus on during the forthcoming year;
- a list and description of target-specific programs of the Republic of Belarus and interstate programs financed from the national budget;
- a list showing the nation’s needs in specific products and services and the state-run companies responsible for supplying (or procuring) products and services for national needs;
- the national investment program;
- the socio-economic targets that serve as guidelines during the preparation of forecasts and programs for specific economic sectors, industries, administrative and territorial units.
The procedure of and timing for the preparation of an annual socio-economic forecast correlate with the procedure of and timing for the drafting of the national budget of the Republic of Belarus.
An annual socio-economic forecast is a key document used during preparation of the national and local budgets and for identifying the priorities of the nation’s monetary, credit and exchange rate policy.
The essential parameters of a short-term socio-economic forecast are approved by the President of the Republic of Belarus.
Socio-economic forecasts for specific economic sectors and administrative and territorial units are prepared by the national bodies of state administration, local executive and regulatory authorities.