Business news from Ukraine

Experts Club analyzed the key trends in the global economy over the last decades

In his analytical video published on the Experts Club YouTube channel, Maxim Urakin, founder of the project and PhD in Economics, focuses on the key indicator of global macroeconomics – gross domestic product (GDP), which plays a central role in analyzing the economic well-being of countries. GDP is the total value of all goods and services produced in a country over a certain period of time. This indicator helps to assess how productive a country’s economy is and is an important indicator of its overall economic well-being.

Analyzing GDP dynamics on a global scale

According to Urakin, analyzing the last decades shows significant changes in the global economy.

“In the 1990s to 2000s, first of all, there was significant economic growth in countries such as the US and China, as well as in developing countries such as India. It was a time of economic prosperity for developed countries and a period of rapid growth for some emerging markets,” explained the founder of Experts Club.

But then the world economy was rocked by crises, including the global financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent European debt crisis. These events, according to Expert Club, slowed global GDP growth and exposed the vulnerability of many economies previously considered promising.

“In recent years, we have faced new challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a significant downturn in the global economy, and geopolitical tensions, including the war in Ukraine. These events have re-emphasized the interconnectedness and interdependence in the global economy,” said Urakin.

GDP and geopolitical changes

Urakin notes that in the context of geopolitics, GDP serves not only as a measure of economic development but also as an indicator of international influence.

“India, surpassing the UK, has become the fifth largest economy in the world, which emphasizes the shift of global economic forces to the Asian region. This is also confirmed by the fact that China, having overtaken the US in terms of purchasing power, has confirmed its status as a global economic power,” the economist emphasized.

Future trends

Analysis of global GDP dynamics shows that the global economy continues to recover from the pandemic, but geopolitical instability has a restraining effect on this growth. According to Maxim Urakin, it is important to monitor developments and adapt to changing conditions to ensure sustainable economic growth in the future. Ukraine, in this context, needs to focus on strengthening domestic political stability, restoring economic potential and continuing reforms to improve its post-war prospects and strengthen its position on the global stage.

To learn more about global GDP, check out the video on the Experts Club channel at the link:

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GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country over a given period of time (usually a year). It measures a country’s total output and economic activity, being one of the key indicators of its economic health.

Nominal GDP is an estimate of gross domestic product expressed in current market prices, not adjusted for inflation or deflation. This means that when measuring nominal GDP, current prices of goods and services are taken into account, which can lead to higher GDP when prices rise (inflation), even if actual output has not increased.

PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) GDP is a method of estimating GDP that takes into account differences in the cost of living and price level between countries. The PPP GDP calculation uses prices adjusted to reflect real purchasing power in different countries. This allows for a more accurate comparison of living standards and economic activity between countries because it takes into account differences in the cost of goods and services in different places.

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S&P forecasts Ukraine’s GDP growth at nearly 4% in 2024

Ukraine’s economic growth will continue in 2024 on the back of expanding domestic demand and a further recovery in seaborne exports, but it will fall to 3.9% from around 5.5% last year due to the high base effect created by the past strong agricultural season, international rating agency S&P Global Ratings forecast.

“Absent a significant escalation of the war, we forecast Ukraine’s economy to grow by about 4-5% on average over the medium term, but a recovery to pre-war levels is unlikely in the foreseeable future,” it said in its release on Saturday night as it downgraded Ukraine’s long-term foreign currency rating to ‘CC’ from ‘CCC’ with a negative outlook amid an expected Eurobond restructuring.

S&P estimates that average annual inflation will fall to around 7% this year from 12.8% last year, but it will pick up in the second half of this year amid weakening base effect, recovering domestic demand and moderate currency depreciation.

The agency expects the hryvnia to depreciate to 41.02 UAH/$1 at the end of this year and to 43.89/$1 at the end of next year.

S&P emphasizes that the development of the war with Russia continues to shape Ukraine’s macroeconomic outlook. It is unclear how the war may evolve, but we believe a military stalemate without any major changes on the front lines remains the most likely scenario as both sides resign themselves to a protracted war. The prospect of any negotiated peace plan seems unlikely. As a result, we assume that the active phase of the war will last until the end of this year, and most likely beyond,” the document says.

The agency recalls that Russian troops have occupied about 15% of Ukraine’s territory, which accounts for about 8-9% of its pre-war GDP, 14% of industrial and 10% of agricultural production. Almost a third of Ukraine’s population has been displaced and about 15% have fled the country and are now refugees living mainly in the EU.

Nevertheless, according to S&P’s baseline scenario, the Ukrainian government and the NBU will maintain their administrative capacity even in the face of serious military attacks.

Given the significant damage to physical and human capital, Ukraine’s medium-term economic prospects are subject to a high degree of uncertainty, the agency notes. In its view, the key factors determining the country’s recovery prospects are the evolution of the war, post-war demographics and labor market profile, as well as the effectiveness of reconstruction efforts and continued international support.

S&P notes a high degree of uncertainty about the scope, outcome and consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war. In its view, regardless of the duration of hostilities, the associated risks are likely to persist for some time.

As reported, the National Bank of Ukraine in January estimated the country’s GDP growth in 2023 at 5.7% and maintained its 2024 growth forecast at 3.6%, slightly worsening it for 2025 – from 6.0% to 5.8%.

The government, when approving the draft state budget for the second reading in early November 2023, improved last year’s GDP growth estimate from 2.8% to 5%, but worsened it for 2024 from 5% to 4.6%.

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Overview of main economic indicators of Ukraine at end of 2023 by Experts club

The article collects and analyzes the main macroeconomic indicators of Ukraine. In connection with the entry into force of the Law of Ukraine “On Protection of the Interests of Business Entities during Martial Law or a State of War”, the State Statistics Service of Ukraine suspends the publication of statistical information for the period of martial law, as well as for three months after its termination. The exception is the publication of information on the consumer price index, separate information on statistical indicators for 2021 and for the period January-February 2022. The article analyzes open data from the State Statistics Service, the National Bank, and think tanks.

Demographic indicators of Ukraine
Director of the Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Academician Ella Libanova, predicts that about 50% of citizens will return to Ukraine after the war ends. At the same time, Libanova believes that if the economy is restored to pre-war levels, Ukraine will not be able to return the projected 4.5 million citizens.
She also drew attention to the fact that, according to Eurostat, there are currently 4.2 million Ukrainian military migrants in the European Union.
Earlier, Libanova described depopulation and labor shortages as an inevitable scenario for Ukraine.
According to the estimates she presented at the Regional Economic Forum, as of the beginning of this year, the population in the government-controlled areas was 31.6 million people, and now it has slightly increased.
Libanova pointed out that the population forecast for the beginning of 2033 within the borders of 1991 Ukraine ranges from 26-35 million people.

Economic recovery
Ukraine’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 8.2% in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year.
The NBU, which has raised its overall GDP growth forecast for this year to 4.9%, estimates the direct positive contribution of a higher harvest at 1.3 percentage points.
“At the same time, the key risk for our economy remains a longer duration and intensity of the war, as well as a decrease in the volume or loss of rhythm of international assistance, the resumption of a significant electricity shortage due to further destruction of the energy infrastructure and other risks,” said Maksym Urakin.

Analysis of Ukraine’s foreign trade
Maksym Urakin also drew attention to the factor of the growing negative foreign trade balance, which has been observed since the beginning of the war.
“The negative balance of Ukraine’s foreign trade in goods in January-September 2023 increased by 3.2 times compared to the same period in 2022 – $19.402 billion. This means that the cost of purchasing the goods Ukraine needs is almost $20 billion more than the income from exporting Ukrainian goods to other countries,” said Urakin, PhD in Economics.

Ukraine’s financial situation in 2023
According to the expert, the main factors characterizing the state of the Ukrainian economy are public debt, international reserves, and inflation.
“As of September 30, 2023, Ukraine’s public and publicly guaranteed debt amounted to UAH 4,886.13 billion, or USD 133.62 billion. This is a slight decrease compared to the historical maximum set in August,” Maksym Urakin said.

The expert noted that the main risks to the economy remain the duration of the war and the instability of international aid.
“In the third quarter of 2023, Ukraine’s GDP growth slowed to 8.2%. The negative balance of foreign trade increased 3.2 times, which is an alarming signal. The public debt has slightly decreased compared to August figures, but in 2024 it may exceed the country’s GDP for the first time, which poses significant risks to economic stability,” the economist said.

Thus, the economic situation in Ukraine, according to the founder of the Club of Experts, continues to require close monitoring and adaptation of strategies in response to changing conditions. Macroeconomic indicators of Ukraine and the world were discussed in more detail in one of the video programs of the Experts club

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Impact of electricity deficit on real GDP vs no deficit, % (forecast up to 2024)

Impact of electricity deficit on real GDP vs no deficit, % (forecast up to 2024)

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Dragon Capital raises iforecast for GDP growth in 2023

Dragon Capital investment company, taking into account the increase in exports of raw materials through the sea corridor, a stable energy situation and a good harvest, improved its forecast for economic growth in 2023 from 4.5% to 5.2%, but kept it at 4% for 2024, the company said in a press release on Friday.
“Our updated estimate is that real GDP will grow 5.0% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2023, from the 3.0% we previously estimated,” the company said in a statement.
Its analysts estimate that Ukraine exported about 4 million tonnes of commodities through the new sea corridor in November, from 2 million tonnes in October. At the same time, agricultural goods accounted for about 60-70%, and the remaining share was occupied by the export of iron ore and steel. This dynamics contributes to the revitalization of related sectors, in particular freight transportation and trade, contributes to the recovery of ore production and metallurgy products, and also improves the financial indicators of agricultural enterprises, reducing risks to the harvest in 2024.
Dragon Capital, taking into account the latest data on yields of major agricultural crops, has improved its expectations for the harvest of grains and oilseeds this year from 77 million tonnes to 80 million tonnes (11% more year-over-year).
At the same time, the investment company said that an unexpected and unfavorable event was the blockade of the main crossing points of the Ukrainian-Polish border by Polish truckers in early November, which will have a limited adverse impact on economic activity.
Among the downsides of the blockade of the Ukrainian-Polish border are a decrease in state budget receipts, losses for manufacturers oriented towards the EU market, mainly in the food industry, woodworking and production of automotive electronics, a shortage of certain energy materials such as LPG, a delay in volunteer assistance for the front and financial losses of enterprises due to queues.
At the same time, Dragon Capital said, since the import of goods from the EU to Ukraine by road exceeds exports by $1.1 billion per month, the blockade leads to a reduction in the foreign trade deficit, which in recent months has fluctuated in the range of $2.8-3.0 billion per month.
“Due to the reduction in imports, some Ukrainian manufacturers of consumer goods are gaining a temporary competitive advantage,” the company added.
Speaking about the 4% forecast for economic growth next year, Dragon Capital named the partial restoration of exports by seaports as one of its key drivers and, accordingly, an increase in production in related sectors (ore mining, metallurgy, freight transportation, domestic trade). “The development of the domestic defense industry would also contribute to the economy,” the company said.
At the same time, the investment company said that economic recovery in 2023-2024 will not compensate for the 29% decline in 2022 caused by the consequences of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, and real GDP in 2024 will remain 22% below its pre-war level.
“At the same time, nominal GDP in U.S. dollars could reach its pre-war level of $200 billion as early as next year due to relative exchange rate stability and high average annual inflation,” Dragon Capital said in the press release.
The company maintained its inflation forecast for this and next years at 6% and 8%, respectively, with the National Bank’s key policy rate unchanged at 15% after its expected reduction from 16% at the next meeting on December 14.
Dragon Capital also noted the importance of financial assistance from partners, pointing out that if there is a shortage, the government will have to turn to monetization of the budget deficit, which will decrease next year from 25% of GDP to 21% of GDP, or to increase the tax burden.
“We expect international partners to approve new economic support packages for Ukraine and provide about $40 billion in direct budget funding in 2024, although a delay in the release of funds is possible early next year,” the company said.
The company’s analysts expect that, subject to such external revenues, the National Bank’s gold and foreign exchange reserves will begin to gradually grow and reach $45 billion by the end of the year.
Dragon Capital kept its exchange rate expectations unchanged – UAH 37.30/$1 on average for 2024 and UAH 39.00/$1 at the end of the year.


Real GDP percentage changes over previous period in 2014-2023

Real GDP percentage changes over previous period in 2014-2023

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