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Country Forecast Ukraine January 2018 Updater

Country Forecast Ukraine January 2018 Updater

  • January 2018
  • ID: 362270
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

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  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the government to serve out its term to 2019. The recent attainment of a visa-free regime with the Schengen area and wage and pension increases implemented in 2017 and expected in 2018 could improve the government's low level of support.
  • 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.
  • Chances of an improvement in US-Russia ties in 2018-19 have receded owing to new US sanctions and intense media scrutiny of the US government's actions towards Russia. The EU will maintain its sanctions on Russia in 2018-22.
  • We estimate that real GDP growth reached 2.1% in 2017. In 2018 a managed slowdown in China and a fall in steel prices will trigger a deceleration, to 1.9%. We forecast average annual real GDP growth of 2.2% in 2019-22.
  • In October 2017 the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU, the central bank) raised its key rate by 1 percentage point (the first rise since 2015), to 13.5%. We estimate that inflation averaged 14.5% in 2017 and expect it to decelerate to 11.1% in 2018.
  • The hryvnya depreciated against a strong US dollar in 2017. A drop in steel prices and a tightening of the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve (the US central bank) in 2018 will cause further currency depreciation.
  • We believe that the government budget registered a deficit amounting to 2.9% of GDP in 2017. The deficit will shrink to 2.7% of GDP in 2018 owing to better macroeconomic conditions. In 2019-22 we forecast that the budget deficit will average 2.2% of GDP. More progress on structural reforms and the fight against corruption will be needed to ensure the renewal of the IMF facility in 2019.
  • We estimate that the current-account deficit widened as a share of GDP in 2017, to 3.9% of GDP, compared with 3.7% in 2016. We believe that the current-account deficit will expand sharply in 2018 because of a rise in global energy prices and a steep fall in steel prices. In 2019-22 we expect the current account to register an annual average deficit of 3.5% of GDP.






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