February 8, 2017 / 11:13 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Ukraine's economy surged at end of last year, statistics chief says

(Adds details, background)

KIEV, Feb 8 (Reuters) - 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 Fund.

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, Verner said.

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

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