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Ukraine GDP plunges 17.6% in first quarter of 2015

A Ukrainian man looks at a burnt tractor, which was destroyed by mortar shelling in the village of Dmitrivka, on April 7, 2015The Ukraine economy shrunk 17.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year, sapped by continuing violence in its eastern industrial heartland, the national statistics agency said Friday. The fall in Q1 GDP was 6.5 percent compared to the final quarter of 2014, Ukraine’s state statistics service said. The plunge followed recent forecasts by international organisations predicting Ukraine’s economy would decline even faster than expected as the continuing conflict with separatists in the east undermined industrial production. In late April, the World Bank revised its 2015 outlook for Ukraine down from an initial 2.3 percent to 7.5 percent, saying “the conflict in the east has become the main driving force behind the fall”.

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