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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Belarus Announces 8% GDP Growth

MINSK, Belarus -- Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that Belarus has seen remarkable economic growth this year, but admitted that the nation is mired in poverty.

Lukashenko, who on Wednesday addressed a government meeting setting next year's economic guidelines, said the gross domestic product had risen by 8 percent this year. "Nonetheless, the people's life is nasty," he added.

Western economists say that Belarus' economic statistics distort the real situation in the economy, which is paralyzed by the rigid Soviet-era state controls.

The generous infusion of cash into the economy has created a false impression of growth, but also contributed to the steady fall of the national currency.

Lukashenko said monthly inflation averaged 7 percent this year instead of the 2 percent target. However, even that figure appears unrealistic since the Belarussian ruble fell from 40,000 to the dollar in January to over 200,000 now.