Ukraine’s economy set to continue to grow next year, deputy head of IMF mission

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s economy is adapting well to the wartime environment following Russia’s invasion and growth will continue next year, the deputy head of an International Monetary Fund mission said on Wednesday.

Natan Epstein, Deputy Mission Chief for Ukraine, said domestic demand and strong private consumption were driving the activities.

“The economy is certainly adapting to the war environment showing remarkable resilience, and we do expect growth to continue next year,” he told a media briefing.

In June, the IMF forecast Ukraine’s gross domestic product growth would be within a range of 1% to 3% this year. Epstein said he expected growth to be closer to the upper estimate.

Ukraine’s economy has been hit hard since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022, and the government has relied heavily on Western aid to finance social and humanitarian payments.

The IMF mission was in Kyiv for meetings with government officials and other stakeholders this week to discuss macroeconomic targets and structural reforms as part of the second review of the Fund’s $15.6 billion multi-year loan program.

IMF officials said the program remained generally well executed and that the Ukrainian government had met quantitative targets for the program, but that work was still to be completed on structural benchmarks which included steps on governance, anti-corruption, and fiscal policy.

The four-year program for Kyiv is part of a $115-billion global package to support the economy as Ukraine battles Russia’s invading forces.

The IMF also reopened its resident representative office in Ukraine on Wednesday, and Fund officials said it would help deepen cooperation.

(Reporting by Olena Harmash, Editing by Timothy Heritage)