* GDP Q3 poll data reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/econ-polls?RIC=UAGDPQ%3DECI
* GDP full year poll data reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/econ-polls?RIC=U reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/econ-polls?RIC=UACPIAPAGDPAP
KYIV, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Ukraine’s economic contraction was expected to slow in the third quarter after the government lifted some lockdown restrictions imposed to curtail the coronavirus and allowed business activity to recover, a Reuters poll of analysts showed on Thursday.
The median forecast of 13 analysts suggested gross domestic product shrank 4.7% year-on-year in July-September compared with a 11.4% decline in April-June.
The government imposed strict lockdown restrictions in March but partly lifted them in June.
“The main reason for the improvement in dynamics in the third quarter is the absence of strict quarantine restrictions,” said Oleksiy Blinov from Alfa-Bank Ukraine.
The second quarter’s decline had been the worst since the second quarter of 2015, when the economy shrank 14.5% year-on-year in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of military conflict in the eastern Donbass region.
Analysts from Raiffeisen Bank Aval (RBA) said the retail trade and construction sectors showed the strongest recovery.
Blinov added the positive dynamic in the latter was led by “infrastructure construction, where spending on roads more than doubled compared to the previous year”.
The government allocated about $1.2 billion of budget money in July to a road-building programme.
The economy could shrink by 5.6% in 2020 compared with the 3.2% growth in 2019, according to the economy ministry’s latest forecast.
“If the current conditions of macroeconomic development remain unchanged, recovery of the real quarterly GDP to the pre-crisis level will, according to our estimates, take six to seven quarters,” RBA analysts said in written comments.
The analysts said economic performance would depend on the authorities containing the pandemic without tightening restrictions again. Cases hit a record on Thursday and could rise to 15,000 a day by the end of the month.
Ukraine’s State Statistics Service will publish GDP data on November 16. (Editing by Matthias Williams, editing by Larry King)
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