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Ukraine’s GDP Growth Slowed to 1.5% in First Eight Months

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s economic growth slowed to 1.5 percent in the first eight months of the year from 2 percent in the first seven as the construction industry shrank, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said.

“Considering a combination of negative external and internal factors, recession in Europe’s leading countries and a decline in the commodity and capital markets, this is a positive result,” Azarov told a weekly government meeting today in Kiev. Construction declined by 8 percent in the eight months, Azarov said.

Ukraine’s economy, dependent on export of steel and chemicals, rose 2.5 percent in the first half of the year, boosted by preparations for the Euro 2012 football championship co-hosted with Poland. Industrial production fell 4.7 percent from a year earlier in August on declining machine building, steel output and crude-oil refining, the statistics office said on Sept. 17.

The government predicts the economy will expand 4.5 percent next year compared with the official forecast of 3.9 percent for 2012, Finance Minister Yuriy Kolobov said on Sept. 12, citing a draft of next year’s budget. The economy expanded 4.4 percent in 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kateryna Choursina in Kiev at kchoursina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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