(Adds details, background)
KIEV Feb 8 Ukraine's economy grew as much as
4.8 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, the state
statistics agency's chief said on Wednesday, citing preliminary
data that suggests a stronger-than-expected recovery towards the
end of the year.
The improvement was driven by both industry and agriculture.
"We can now speak of an acceleration in gross domestic
product growth in the fourth quarter," State Statistics Agency
chief Ihor Verner said.
GDP increased between 4.5 percent and 4.8 percent
year-on-year in October-December, he said. It compared with an
increase of 2 percent in the previous quarter.
Ukraine's economy is emerging from two years of recession
after a $40 billion bailout led by the International Monetary
Verner's projection is stronger than estimates from the
central bank in January that showed the economy grew 3.1 percent
in the fourth quarter and 1.8 percent for the whole of 2016.
The growth is fuelled by better-than-expected performance by
Ukraine's industry as well as by its strong agricultural sector,
Industrial output grew 2.4 percent in 2016 after four years
of contraction, according to the statistics service.
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra
Prentice/Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)