Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 16:09 UK

Ukraine's economy 'to shrink 9%'

Ukrainian parliament
Ukraine has been deadlocked over how to tackle the crisis

The World Bank has said Ukraine's economy will shrink by 9% this year, more than double its previous forecast.

It said in December that Ukraine would contract by 4%. The International Monetary Fund expects the country to shrink by 6%.

Ukraine's construction and metals industries have been hit hard by the economic downturn.

But the World Bank also criticised the government's inability to implement measures to stem the recession.

Slovakia shrinking

The country's GDP increased by more than 2% last year and grew by more than 7% a year from 2000 to 2007.

"We expect GDP to drop by 9% in 2009, but still see downside risks to this forecast if the external environment deteriorates further and/or the authorities delay critical anti-crisis steps," the World Bank said in a statement.

Ukraine's currency has dropped 38% in the past year against the US dollar, eclipsed only by the Icelandic krona and the Seychelles rupee.

Separately, Slovakia's central bank said its economy was set to contract this year, exacerbated by the Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute, which disrupted supplies to Slovakia in January.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it invested a record 1.1bn euros ($1.5bn) in eastern Europe in the first three months of the year, up from 678m euros in the same quarter of last year.

Hungary and Ukraine, as well as Romania, Latvia and Serbia, are among the countries to have sought emergency funds from the IMF because of the recession.

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