December 08
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Ukraine's economy will shrink by 35% this year, the World Bank predicts, Reuters reports.

It estimates that the country's recovery will cost at least $349 billion, 1.5 times the size of Ukraine's prewar economy. Ukraine still needs enormous financial support, said Anna Bjerde, World Bank vice president for Europe and Central Asia.

Nevertheless, the bank's estimate for Ukraine's economy marks an increase from the 45.1 percent free-fall that was forecast in June. And the Ukrainian economy is expected to return to growth in 2023, up 3.3 percent, although the outlook is highly uncertain and will depend on the course of the war.

Meanwhile, the Russian economy, hit by Western sanctions, is expected to contract - by 4.5% in 2022 and 3.6% next year. The energy-producing Russian economy has proven resilient, helped by rising oil and natural gas prices.

The WB expects developing economies in Europe and Central Asia combined to contract by 0.2% this year and grow by just 0.3% in 2023.

The bank's economic estimate for 23 countries in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia improved from the 2.9% contraction it projected for 2022 back in June. The update partly reflects an expansion of government stimulus programs originally designed to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the outlook for 2023 falls short of the bank's earlier forecast of 1.5% growth in the region.

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