World Bank lowers Ukraine's 2013 growth forecast to zero
The World Bank (WB) on Monday revised its forecast for Ukraine's economic growth rate in 2013 down to zero from a previous 1 percent, according toXinhua.
The bank cited Ukraine's low gas prices for households, large fiscal deficit and poor economic performance in the first half of the year as reasons for its revision.
"In the second half of 2013, Ukraine's gross domestic product (GDP) will experience a slight increase amid good grain harvests and low comparison base effect. However, this growth will not be enough to cover the fall, recorded in the first half of this year," the bank said in a regular report.
Due to the World Bank outlook, the pace of economic growth in Ukraine is projected at 1.5 to 2 percent in 2014, compared to a previously estimated 3 percent, and 1 to 3 percent in 2015.
According to Fan Qimiao, the bank's country director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, Kiev needs to implement structural reforms to accelerate the nation's economic growth in the coming years.
"Key structural reforms would be an incentive for private companies and would strengthen the energy sector, which is important for strong economic growth," Fan told a press briefing here.
According to the preliminary data, Ukraine's GDP declined by 1.1 percent in first half of 2013 from a year ago.
The 2013 state budget forecast the nation's GDP to grow by 3.4 percent this year, while the country's Finance Ministry expects growth of 1 to 1.5 percent.