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Country Report Ukraine October 2017

Country Report Ukraine October 2017

  • October 2017
  • ID: 325951

Summary

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Outlook for 2018-22



  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the government to serve out its term to 2019, although political instability remains high.
  • The diplomatic, propaganda, economic and military conflict with Russia over the Donbas region looks set to endure throughout the forecast period (2018-22). The Minsk II agreement will not end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
  • Ukraine is gradually turning towards the West, as shown by the free-trade agreements signed with the EU and Canada coming into force this year.
  • Economic recovery is palpable but the path to stabilisation remains bumpy. The release of tranches of the IMF loan looks unlikely owing to delays in implementing reforms and Ukraine's return to international debt markets.
  • We have revised upwards our estimate for real GDP growth in 2017, to 2%, from 1.7% previously, owing to buoyant investment growth. In 2018 a managed slowdown in China will result in slower growth of 1.3%.
  • We expect the hryvnya to depreciate slightly against the US dollar in 2017. A drop in steel prices will cause further currency depreciation in 2018. Inflation will stay high in 2017 before starting to recede in 2018, albeit very gradually.


Review



  • On September 22nd the government presented a draft for the 2018 budget to the Verkhovna Rada (parliament). Its growth assumptions appear optimistic.
  • On October 3rd the Rada adopted a long due pension reform. The law will boost the contributions of current workers and increase pension payments, which currently stand at about US$60 per month.
  • On September 18th Ukraine issued a 15-year US$3bn Eurobond; US$1.7bn will be used for a debt swap and US$1.3bn for budget financing.
  • In September the adoption of a new education law, which limits the use of foreign languages in the education system, sparked criticism from minorities and European countries such as Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.
  • Inflation continued to accelerate in September, to 16.4% year on year, compared with 16.2% in August. Month on month, consumer price inflation was 2%, compared with -0.1% in August .
  • Real GDP growth for the second quarter of 2017 has been revised down slightly, to 2.3% year on year, from 2.4% in a preliminary estimate.
  • In January-July the volume of agricultural output was down by 2% year on year, according to the State Statistics Service.
  • The current-account deficit narrowed to US$394m in the second quarter of 2017, from US$866m in the first quarter.


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