Oxford Economics has downgraded the forecast for Ukraine’s GDP growth in 2021 to 4% from 4.4% in the July forecast, and the risks of further lockdowns and expectations of tightening fiscal and monetary policy led to a deterioration in the forecast for economic growth in 2022 from 4.2% to 3.5%.
The disappointing Q2 data prompted us to cut our 2021 GDP growth forecast to 4% from 4.4% last month. And with Ukraine’s vaccination rate being one of the lowest in Europe, the COVID-19 infection rate may rise sharply again, according to the forecast of Oxford Economics for August.
According to the analysts, due to the lack of vaccines and hesitation regarding vaccination, the proportion of fully vaccinated is kept at less than 7% of the population. These factors pose significant downside risks to short-term growth forecasts.
Oxford Economics expects inflation to average 9.2% this year, with further declines to 6.7% and 5.4% in 2022 and 2023. At the same time, the hryvnia exchange rate on average in 2021 is projected at the level of UAH 28.4/$1, in 2022 – UAH 29.3/$1, in 2023 – UAH 29.4/$1.
As for further cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the resumption of the Stand-By Arrangement this year, Oxford Economics considers it unlikely, since the government manages the proceeds from two issues of eurobonds. The upcoming peak public debt repayments will help cover $ 2.7 billion from the new IMF SDR allocation.
In 2022, Ukraine will have to pay $ 6.5 billion on public debt. This year, Ukraine may miss the chance to receive a new tranche of the IMF due to lack of political will. In this case, the resumption of cooperation with the fund next year remains probable, the forecast says.