WASHINGTON, D.C. - The "Ukraine Macroeconomic Situation – March 2019" analytical report with several charts and graphs IS ATTACHED to this communication and can be found at the link above.  The monthly Macroeconomic Situation report is prepared by the SigmaBleyzer multinational private equity firm, www.SigmaBleyzer.com, and The Bleyzer Foundation (TBF), www.BleyzerFoundation.org, Kyiv, Ukraine, who are long-time members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), http://www.USUBC.org

Executive Summary

  1. Ukraine’s Presidential election is scheduled for March 31, the last Sunday of the month. The outcome of the elections is still uncertain as the most recent polls still contains a large number of undecided voters, the ratings of the three main candidates are still close, and the individual ratings are unreliable and changing quickly from day-to-day. All these uncertainties suggest that a second-round, preliminary scheduled for April 21, will be inevitable.  
  2. Nevertheless, all major rating agencies give Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian actor, an advantages in the first round. In addition to Mr. Zelensky, two other candidates follow him closely, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and President Petro Poroshenko.  Either of the two could move to the second round.
  3. Following acceleration of economic growth during the last quarter of 2018, the most recent monthly data show a mixed situation. On the one hand, industrial production declined by 3.3% yoy in January.  On the other hand, in January 2019, real trade turnover grew by 6.3% yoy, agricultural production advanced 3.0% yoy, and construction output increased by 6.2% yoy. 
  4. The consolidated fiscal budget incurred a small deficit of UAH 0.4 billion in January. A high cumulative surplus of local budgets (UAH 11.5 billion) was more than offset by a state budget deficit (UAH 11.9 billion).
  5. Consumer inflation decelerated in January. The index declined by 0.6 percentage points to 9.2% yoy. This deceleration was mainly the result of lower fuel prices.  
  6. National currency bank deposits posted accelerated growth in January 2019 thanks to both corporate and household sectors. The former reported a 10.2% yoy growth, while the later had a 15.6% yoy growth.
  7. The UAH/USD exchange rate appreciated at the beginning of February and then remained relatively stable by the end of the month at about 27 UAH/USD.
  8. In January 2018, the current account of the balance of payments had a surplus of USD 446 million, thanks to a higher growth in exports of goods and services (9% yoy to USD 4.9 billion), than in imports, which increased by 2% yoy (to USD 5.2 billion). With a slightly higher level of outflows in the financial account, the overall balance of payments had a small deficit of USD 68 million. International reserves remained at about USD 20 billion.

    NOTE:  The entire Macroeconomic Situation Report for Ukraine for March 2019, with charts and graphs, can be found in the PDF Document by following the link below SB_Ukr-Monthly_Ec_Report_March_2019.pdf