Week's balance: Ukraine stats agency reports on accelerated economy growth, government speaks of priorities for 2019, while president urges foreign businesses to invest in Ukraine
The State Statistics Service reported on a faster economy growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, the government submitted its annual report and announced priorities for 2019, while President Poroshenko called on foreign businesses to invest in Ukraine – these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Renewable energy in Ukraine on the verge of change
Electricity production from solar and wind energy in Ukraine is growing by leaps and bounds primarily due to a powerful incentive – a high "green" tariff. Whether this sector is able to maintain its attractiveness depends on the parliament, which is considering a law on the transition from green tariffs to the mechanism for determining the price of electricity at auctions.
Week's balance: Hryvnia strengthening, road repairs promised, and personnel reshuffles hitting high offices
Hryvnia entered a period of confident growth, the infrastructure ministry vowed further efforts to upgrade Ukrainian road network, while the Cabinet replaced the agrarian ministry's acting chief – these are the main economic news of the past week.
Ukraine's Deputy Finance Minister Vasyl Shkurakov: "There is no urgent need to rush and borrow at whatever rate"
This year, Ukraine must repay more than $6 billion to external creditors. Deputy Minister of Finance Vasyl Shkurakov in an interview with UNIAN told about the government's strategy of refinancing debts, the ministry's work in the domestic debt market, and the probability of default on public debt.
Week's balance: War over gas bills, NBU forecast, and new transport projects
The government struck back at the regional gas distribution companies, reducing consumption rates for Ukrainians and speeding up the installation of meters; the National Bank retained the GDP growth forecast; while the leaders of the transport industry announced this year's priority tasks – these are the key economic news of the past week.
Infrastructure Minister: We believe the Azov set of sanctions will be adopted. This will hit Russia, again
The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine in an interview with UNIAN told about the ongoing work with the western partners on a new package of sanctions against Russia over the aggression in the Sea of Azov and our losses as a result of this aggression, Ukraine's plans for road repair and construction, his attitude to the NABU probe against him, and changes ahead in railway transportation.
Week's balance: Gazprom's delay, FTA with Israel, and good news from Davos
Following the tripartite talks in Brussels on the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine, the parties identified their positions and set up a new meeting, while Ukraine sealed an FTA deal with Israel, and reached a number of agreements with investors at the annual economic forum in Davos – these are the key economic news of the outgoing week.
Gas talks in Brussels: Will there be Ukraine transit after 2019
Another round of Ukraine-EU-Russia gas talks to decide the fate of the future transit contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom saw no concrete outcome, as earlier expected. And although the meeting was held behind closed doors, some new details surfaced.
Week's balance: New coins, Groysman vs space-high salaries in Naftogaz, and transit talks with Gazprom
The NBU governor reported to parliament, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman demanded that the Naftogaz Supervisory Board reduce the exorbitant salaries of the company's top management, while Russia disrupted technical consultations on gas transit – these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
False start of gas talks. Naftogaz vs Gazprom and EU
Russia has disrupted technical consultations in the run-up to the trilateral Ukraine-EU-Russian negotiations on the future contract on gas transit via Ukraine. This casts doubt on the very effectiveness of talks, scheduled for January 21.
Week's balance: Weak economic growth, lower state profits, and new wave of forex easing
Ukraine's key creditors – the IMF and the World Bank – have worsened the outlook for the development of the national economy in 2019, noting that the efforts of the authorities to create a more competitive environment did not meet expectations; the Ministry of Economic Development cited modest financial figures in reports of strategic state enterprises, while the NBU announced a new wave of currency liberalization – these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
Road repairs boom-2018 and U.S. locomotives for Ukrzaliznytsia
In 2018, Ukraine allocated a record $40 billion for road repairs, which made it possible to drastically increase the volume of road construction and maintenance works throughout the country. In parallel lines, the railroad operator began an upgrade of its fleet, while Ukraine completed the largest infrastructure project of the decade, the Beskydy tunnel in the Carpathians.
Ukraine energy 2018: Historic victory over Gazprom and tariff hike
The year of 2018 brought Ukrainians a rise in gas prices, new central heating tariffs, and swings in petrol prices, while we also witnessed Naftogaz’s historic victory over Russia's Gazprom. In 2019, no less fateful events are expected as a new competitive electricity market will be launched.
Ukraine's economy-2019: Slower growth with lower inflation
At UNIAN's request, the country's leading economists have shared their macroeconomic forecasts for the coming year. They expect that in 2019, the economic situation will remain fragile, given the low probability of continued important structural changes during the presidential and parliamentary elections.
Ukraine's agriculture in 2018: New records, old problems
The past year for Ukrainian farmers was marked with a record-high harvest and the purchase of the largest and most problematic agricultural holding, while the government again showed its unwillingness to fairly distribute subsidies between small farmers and big market players.
Ukraine's defense in 2018: Developing weapons, restoring missile shield, strengthening armored capacities
In 2018, Ukraine allocated a record UAH 170 billion from the state budget for defense, which allowed intensifying rearmament efforts, financing the development of new types of weapons. Combined with the use of foreign arms and hardware, this strengthened Ukraine's defense capabilities in countering Russian aggression.
Year's contrasts: 4G breakthrough and rollback, millionaires from Ukrposhta slums, and Ukrtelecom row
The outgoing 2018 is truly a year of contrasts in the telecommunications market. The long-awaited LTE (4G) format was introduced, while even the 2G connection was not solid at all times, and no promised abolition of “mobile slavery” happened; the team of business reformers who came to manage Ukrposhta increased the company’s losses and began closing company branches in rural areas; and the epic with the return of Ukrtelecom to state ownership went for the second round in Ukrainian courts.
Year's balance: Reconciliation with IMF, bills for Russia, and new investors
Ukraine secured a new cooperation program with the IMF, scored several loud victories in international courts against Russian aggressors, attracted new investors, and boasted a record harvest – these are the main economic results of the outgoing year.
Week's balance: New IMF requirements and long-awaited tranche, Fiscal Service unbundling, and "disgraceful" moratorium on farmland sale
Ukraine's main creditor, the IMF, set new demands on reforms and even allocated an incentive tranche in the amount of $1.4 billion; the authorities go for a large-scale reshuffle in the Fiscal Service structure; and MPs once again chose to prolong the moratorium on farmland sale to avoid speculation ahead of the presidential election.
IMF billions under Ukraine's Christmas tree
Despite the introduction of martial law in several regions of Ukraine and the incompletion of the previous cooperation program, the IMF approved a new one for Ukraine, this time worth $3.9 billion. Experts call the key lender's decision a rescue from default.