EBRD slashes emerging Europe growth forecasts

13:48, 27 January 2009
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Economic contraction expected in Ukraine

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development slashed its growth forecasts for emerging Europe to 0.1 percent for 2009 on Tuesday, also reducing its estimate for 2008 growth to 4.8 percent.

In November, the EBRD had predicted 3 percent growth in 2009 and estimated 6.3 percent growth in 2008. This year, it has said several times it was revising its forecasts, predicting lower and lower 2009 growth.

Set up at the end of the Cold War to help former communist economies adjust to free markets, the EBRD operates in 30 countries including Turkey and Mongolia.

It cut its 2009 growth estimate for Russia to 1 percent on Tuesday from a 3 percent estimate in November, with South-eastern Europe expected to show growth of 1.5 percent, down from 7.3 percent in 2008.

Growth in Central Europe and the Baltics was seen at 0.4 percent this year from 3.9 percent last year, with Central Asia seen growing at 2.3 percent from 4.9 the previous year.

Economic contraction was expected this year in Ukraine, Hungary and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Reuters via Forbes

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