Ships at port in Odessa, Ukraine Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images
Here is the text: "Ukraine’s economy shrank an annual 18 percent last quarter, the second-deepest slump on record, after industrial production and retail spending plunged.
The fall in output followed a record 20.3 percent contraction in the first three months of the year, the Kiev- based state statistics committee said in a statement on its Web site today, citing preliminary figures. The office is due to publish details when it releases the final report on Sept. 30.
The commodity-driven economy slumped after demand for steel, Ukraine’s biggest export, faltered and its related industries sagged. Reliance on foreign-currency borrowing pushed Ukraine’s banks into decline, with 17 lenders now under central bank control. The former Soviet state is relying on a $16.4 billion International Monetary Fund bailout to avert default. Gross domestic product will slump 14 percent this year, the IMF estimates.
“An ‘improvement’ from minus 20.3 percent to minus 18 percent is still a huge negative in anyone’s books,” said Timothy Ash, head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa research at Royal Bank of Scotland Plc in London. “The third quarter will probably also show a steep decline, but favorable base effects might ease the year-on-year decline in the fourth quarter.”
Ukraine’s industrial production has declined through the past year and sank an annual 26.7 percent in July, the state statistics office said today in a separate release. Steel production fell 30.4 percent in July, chemicals output slumped 31.1 percent and machine building dropped 52.9 percent. The three industries produce Ukraine’s main exports, which account for more than 50 percent of total output.
Metals and chemicals producers including VAT Odeskyi Pryportovyi Zavod, Ukraine’s second-biggest ammonia producer, have posted record losses. VAT Azovstal Iron & Steel Works said on Aug. 4 it cut steel output by 37.5 percent from January through July to adapt to shrinking markets."