Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ukraine has turned the economic corner



Things look very different three years on. Macroeconomic stability has been restored and Ukraine appears to be on the road to recovery. A more stable exchange rate has helped to bring inflation under control (down to 12.4 per cent last year and a projected 6 per cent next year).

Output is now increasing for the first time since 2012, with growth of 2 per cent last year expected to rise to 2.8 per cent this year and more than 3 per cent in 2018. Renewed growth and lower inflation has, in turn, allowed battered living standards to start recovering. Real wages increased by 11.6 per cent in 2016.

The Ukrainian government has also set out a path to long-term fiscal sustainability through a mix of spending cuts and tax reform. A budget deficit of 2.2 per cent last year was comfortably beneath the 3.7 per cent ceiling set by the IMF.

Ukraine has tremendous potential especially around its agricultural industry. I think the country is just now beginning to realize that its potential in the ag space. I like Astarta which is bringing in best of class technology to upgrade its ag operations in Ukraine.

I also still like Cub Energy, although it has been a recent disappointment. I expect production at Cub to increase this year as the government of Ukraine wants to ween itself from Russian gas.

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