Рубрика | Oilreview

The Fourth Quarter: Trends Have Changed

A growing number of Ukrainian businessmen negatively assess the future of their business

Although the Economic Development Ministry is sure there will be positive dynamics in Ukraine’s development in 2012-2014 due to the increase in industrial production and foreign trade, as well as «the growth of the population’s incomes amid macroeconomic stability,» the explanatory note to the major forecasted macroeconomic and social development indicators in 2012 mentions «the high probability of a pessimistic scenario.» In accordance with the scenario, the development of Ukraine’s economy will be affected by:

  • certain problems in the banking industry and the global economy» that hinder lending;
  • unfavorable conditions for trade – the growth of prices of imported gas will significantly outpace the growth of prices for end commodities of local Ukrainian producers on the foreign and domestic markets, while the world economy will be growing at a slower pace than in the optimistic scenario» (i.e. between 3.6% and 3.8%).

However, Goldman Sachs has already lowered its forecast for global economic growth to 3%, and HSBC to as low as 1.9%, suggesting a «small difference between leaders and outsiders,» while the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, has said that the previously projected 4% growth target is out of reach. Thus, the probability of the «optimistic scenario» under which the Economic Development Ministry predicted 6.5% GDP growth in 2012 is decreasing day by day. What is more, even its «pessimistic» scenario of 5% growth no longer looks realistic.

The representatives of 14 banks, analytical, government and academic institutions who participated in the drafting of the 28th consensus forecast for the Economic Development Ministry expect Ukraine’s real GDP growth this year will be 4.7% (year-over-year, with the limits varying from 2.9% to 6.5%). Their major doubts about the ability of our economy to achieve pre-crisis levels in 2012 rest on the following reasons:

external ones (in descending order of importance):

  • the deterioration of the foreign economic environment, with another price drop on the world commodity markets (12 of 12 with an average probability of the risk and a significant impact on the economy);
  • a lack of external financing and a reduction in access to international capital markets (11 of 12 with an average probability of occurrence and moderate influence);
  • the aggravation of problems in some debtor countries of the eurozone (10 of 12 with the same risks);

Internal ones (in descending order of importance):

  • the strengthening of devaluation trends (11 of 12 with an average probability of the risk and a moderate influence on the country’s economy);
  • a substantial rise in the price of natural gas for all categories of consumers (10 out of 12 with the same risks);
  • a significant budget deficit and cash shortages in the State Social Insurance Fund and the reserves of NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy (10 of 12 with the same risks);
  • low lending by banks (10 out of 12 with the same risks);
  • the adoption of economically groundless decisions regarding a sharp increase in social welfare payments during the parliament pre-election campaign (10 of 12 with the same risk).

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