15:53 16.01.2019

Ukraine in 2018 posts highest GDP growth in seven years, lowest inflation in five years - NBU head

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Ukraine in 2018 posts highest GDP growth in seven years, lowest inflation in five years - NBU head

Ukraine in 2018 managed to achieve the best macroeconomic indicators for the last five to seven years, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Yakiv Smolii has said at a press conference in Kyiv.

"In 2018, the economy of Ukraine demonstrated the most rapid growth in the past seven years. Real GDP grew 3.8% over three quarters and the full-year economic growth was 3.4% according to the NBU forecast," he said.

"Despite having exceeded the NBU target, year-end inflation returned to the downward trend and has declined to a single-digit value for the first time over five years, coming in at 9.8%," the report on the NBU's website reads, citing the banker.

"Ukraine received a new program of cooperation with the IMF, which lays the groundwork for further strengthening of macrofinancial stability. As a result, $2.4 billion was added to the reserves by international partners (the IMF, the EU and the World Bank). The resulting amount of international reserves is the highest in five years, at $20.8 billion. The last time we saw such figures was in the fall of 2013," he said.

"Thanks to the tight monetary policy as well as the benign global price environment for Ukrainian exports in the first half of the year, and the record harvest of grain crops in the second half of 2018, the hryvnia strengthened by 1.4% over the year," the expert stated.

"We begin the year 2019 with a revolutionary currency liberalization the likes of which Ukraine has never seen ... In addition, 2019 should become an important year for a further recovery in lending. Despite the progress made over the past two years, banks have yet to become fully operational, especially as regards working with large corporate borrowers and making mortgage loans to households," he added.

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