Ukraine's president warns of massive economic contraction in 2009
GDP would fall 7 percent to 10 percent?
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko warned on Tuesday that the country`s gross domestic product (GDP) would fall 7 percent to 10 percent in the first quarter of 2009, according to Xinhua.
Yushchenko made the comments at a meeting on budget issues with government officials, said a statement on the presidential Web site.
"Speaking about the economic trends for 2009, the president, referring to forecasts by experts, said that the contraction of the GDP in the first quarter of 2009 can be expected to be 7-10 percent," the statement said.
Ukraine has been among the countries hardest hit by the current global financial crisis as the plunging price of steel, the country`s main export, has exacerbated a credit crunch and a sharp fall in stock prices.
The national currency of Ukraine has almost halved in value in the last six months.
Statistics showed Ukraine`s economy shrunk 14.4 percent year-on-year in November 2008. The Economy Ministry expects the economy to grow 3.5 percent to 4.0 percent in 2008.