The COVID-19 pandemic continues to represent a major economic shock, causing considerable inflation volatility. The pandemic has been responsible for a substantial decline in inflation rates over the course of 2020 globally. However, this trend underwent a significant reversal in the first half of 2021. In this issue, we overview inflation trends in Ukraine prior to and during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Ukrainian Hryvnia’s exchange rates relative to foreign currencies experienced some noteworthy tendencies in 2016-2021. This period of course includes the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a significant impact on exchange rate fluctuations globally. In this bulletin, we review the exchange rate fluctuations in Ukraine in 2016-2021, as well as some of the key factors affecting it.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent Great Lockdown have affected investment flows all over the globe, especially in emerging markets. According to UNCTAD, global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows dropped by 35% in 2020, to $1 trillion, from $1.5 trillion in 2019. This is almost 20% below the 2009 levels after the global financial crisis. Moreover, the number of newly announced greenfield projects in developing countries declined by 42% in 2020 compared to 2019. To assess the impact of the crisis on the FDI flows in Ukraine, it is crucial to have a snapshot of the pre-crisis situation along with developments in 2020.
International rankings and indicators help us to understand and assess how countries are performing in different areas. In this bulletin, Ukraine’s positions in international rankings and the dynamics therein will be reviewed based on recent data. The positions will also be compared with other Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia, and Belarus).
In this bulletin, a snapshot of remittance inflows into Ukraine pre-COVID is discussed, followed by its developments in 2020.
According to the World Bank, global remittances will decline by 14% by the end of 20212, compared to the pre-pandemic level of 2019;
In 2020, remittance inflows into Ukraine declined just by 0.3%, compared to 2019;
Remittance inflows in Ukraine have been growing at an annual average of 8.2% over the past decade;
The contribution of remittances to GDP in Ukraine amounted to 7.7% in 2020;
The top senders of remittances to Ukraine in 2020 were Poland (26%), the United States (10%), and the United Kingdom (9%). In 2016-2019, the top senders were Poland (30%), Russia (12%), and the United States (8%);
Remittances from Russia declined the most in 2020 (-20%), compared to 2019, while the United Kingdom recorded the strongest growth (69%) over the same period.
To address the challenges posed by the pandemic, various government measures have been taken at both national and local levels. In order to withstand the economic recession, almost all countries, including Ukraine, have introduced significant fiscal stimulus packages. Exclusively for the 2020 fiscal year, the Government of Ukraine created a stand-alone budgetary program under the Ministry of Finance to fight the pandemic, with an overall budget of UAH 80.9 billion (or 2% of Ukraine’s 2019 GDP).
In this issue, we overview trends in Ukraine’s labor market indicators through the past decade and compare the dynamics of unemployment rates of Eastern Partnership countries over the same period. In addition, we analyze the effects of COVID-19 on the key labor market indicators, as well as on average wages and number of vacancies posted in 2020.
In Q1-Q3 of 2020, total trade turnover in Ukraine amounted to 72.8 bln USD, which is a 6.9 bln (9%) decrease, compared to the corresponding period of 2019;
In Q1-Q3 of 2020, Ukrainian exports decreased by 6% compared to the corresponding period of 2019, while Ukrainian imports dropped by 11%;
In Q1-Q3 of 2020, Ukraine’s trade deficit amounted to 2.98 bln USD, which is 2.6 bln USD (47%) decrease compared to the corresponding period of 2019;
In Q1-Q3 of 2020, the main export partners were China, Poland and Russia, with shares in total export volume of 13.8%, 6.7% and 5.8% respectively. The main import partners were China (15.3% of total imports), Germany (10.2%) and Russia (8.8%).
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the ensuing economic shock, has prompted governments all around the globe to act swiftly and decisively to mitigate the health and economic impacts of the crisis. Each country has responded in its way, and it is useful to look at these different responses to identify good practices. In this issue, we will be looking at the case studies of Ukraine, Georgia, and Albania, including an analysis of the fiscal measures these countries have taken and an overview of the economic forecasts for 2020 and 2021.
“The Great Lockdown”, referring to the period in which COVID-19 containment measures were put in place worldwide, has had a significant toll on the global economy. In the specific case of Ukraine, even though the country entered the crisis in better macroeconomic condition than in previous global crisis in 2008, its economy is still expected to be hit hard. In this issue, we provide an overview of the impacts of the ongoing pandemic on the Ukrainian economy that are already visible and try to supply an economic forecast for the country for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021, looking at the performance of each economic sector in the process.