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Ukrainian economy on the verge of recession. OSW Commentary No. 96, 2012-11-21

Sarna, Arkadiusz (2012) Ukrainian economy on the verge of recession. OSW Commentary No. 96, 2012-11-21. [Policy Paper]

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    In the third quarter of 2012, Ukraine’s economy recorded negative growth (-1.3%) for the first time since its 2009 economic crisis. Q4 GDP is projected to suffer a further decline, bringing Ukraine into formal recession. In addition to the worsening macroeconomic indicators, Ukraine is also facing a series of concomitant economic problems: a growing trade deficit, industrial decline, shrinking foreign exchange reserves, and the weakening of the hryvnia. Poor economic growth is expected to result in lower than projected budget revenues, which in turn could lead to the sequestration of the budget in December. The decline evident across the key economic indicators in the second half of 2012 brings to a close a period of relative economic stability and two years of economic growth, which had been seen as a significant personal achievement of President Viktor Yanukovych and the ruling Party of Regions. The health of the Ukrainian economy largely depends on the state of the country’s export- -oriented industries. The current economic forecasts for foreign markets are not very optimistic. It is impossible to determine whether the current economic downturn is likely to be merely temporary or whether it heralds the onset of a prolonged economic crisis. The limited capacity to deal with the growing economic problems may mean that Kiev will need to seek financial support from abroad. This is particularly significant with regard to external debt servicing, since in 2013 Ukraine will need to pay back around 9 billion USD, including over 5.5 billion USD to the International Monetary Fund. In order to overcome the recession and stabilise public finances, the government may be forced to take a series of unpopular measures, including raising the price of natural gas and utilities. These measures have been stipulated by the IMF as a condition of further financial assistance and the disbursement of the 12 billion USD stabilisation loan granted to Ukraine in July 2010. The only alternative for Western loans and economic reforms appears to be financial support from Russia. The price for Moscow’s help might however turn out to be very high, and precipitate a turn in Kiev’s foreign policy towards a gradual re-integration of former Soviet republics under Moscow-led geopolitical projects.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Ukraine
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2014 14:37
    Number of Pages: 8
    Last Modified: 12 Dec 2014 14:37

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