The spring wages will increase, but the hryvnia will fall in price: the economic forecast for the three months

In the next three months salaries of Ukrainians and prices will slowly rise, the hryvnia weakening, and gasoline to go up. To such conclusion experts of “Today”, making for the newspaper’s economic forecast for early 2017. What will be the life of the country by the spring — see infographic.

PRICES. In the first quarter of 2017, experts predict rising prices in the range of 2-6%. As noted by the head of the Secretariat of the Council of entrepreneurs under the Cabinet of Ministers Andrei Zablovsky, while consumer inflation will be less than 10%, but may be relatively high, because “the main drivers of growth in prices will raise social standards, starting in January 2017, and the rise in prices of energy and seasonal factor the growth of some food”.

At the same time, the head of the company “MPP Consulting” Paul Miller believes that inflation will be minimal in January, because in the beginning of the year a lot of weekends, so life fades. “Since February, the expected inflation along with a sharp jump in food prices”, said Miller.

COURSE. But the dollar, according to experts, will fluctuate in the range of 26.5—30 UAH. This means that the national currency will gradually depreciate, I am sure Nikitchenko. “The starting point of the fluctuations of the dollar will mark 27.5 UAH. This happens because Ukraine will not receive IMF tranche, (according to the latest reports, he is expected in January-February. — Ed.) a relatively cold winter compels the government to purchase significant amounts of imported gas. In addition, the increase in foreign investment that would help to consistently keep the course, not expected. It will put pressure on the hryvnia,” — said Nikitchenko.

Meanwhile Zablovsky predicts the dollar to 26.5—27 UAH. “The course will mainly be calm, except for small fluctuations that are associated with the need for natural gas purchases and settlements of external debts”, — said Zablovsky.

SALARY. Should Ukraine grow and the average salary — up to 5500-6000 UAH (now the national average for November-2016 — 5406 UAH). Nikitchenko believes that revenue growth will be affected by the revision of salaries in the beginning of the year that will increase not only the official mentorplace, but average earnings in the country. “The economy is still weak, GDP growth is low, so the income though will grow, but the population of a major improvement in living standards will not feel” — said Nikitchenko.

Still, the increase in average wages Zablovsky calls a positive factor, as this will avoid another round of impoverishment of the population and enable further recovery of the economy.

At the same time Zemlyansky fears that growth minzarplat will lead to a reduction in real incomes, because “employers can start to transfer employees to part-time or withdraw business in the shadows.”

PETROL. Does not please the Ukrainians and fuel prices. The cost of a liter gasoline A-95 will be in the range of 23.2—28 UAH. Now the average price — 23,8 UAH/liter.

While Miller believes that A-95 in retail will correspond to inflation level, so fuel prices should be in the lower level corridor — 23-24 UAH per liter. “Spike is not expected, as it will continue a General reduction in gasoline consumption and a smooth increase in the use of diesel and gas”, — said the expert.

But Zablovsky inclined to believe that the fuel will gradually become more expensive. “The price of gasoline is a little older on the background of the increase in world oil prices, and some weakening of the hryvnia. But this growth will not be large, if our economy avoids force majeure,” he says.

DEBT. According to experts, the level of debt will continue to grow and will be in the first quarter of 2017, about of 1.69 to 2.08 trillion UAH. Director of energy programmes of the Center of world economy of NASU Valentyn Zemlyansky believes that the national debt will increase in hryvnia terms — this will affect the devaluation of the national currency, the lack of tranches from IMF and EU loans, and the payment of previously taken loan obligations to the Fund.

In addition, Nikitchenko noted that the increase in the debt of Ukraine will affect the need for additional capitalization of “PrivatBank”, which at the end of 2016 became a state. “For this purpose will need more than 100 billion UAH, and the first tranche of the capital increase will amount to 43 billion UAH”, — said the expert. The amount of public debt can increase and the additional issue of domestic bonds Treasury bonds, says Miller, because the money will likely be directed “to cover cash gaps of the first quarter due to the increase in minzarplat”.

UNEMPLOYMENT. Here the experts are unanimous: the number of unemployed population according to the ILO, not only will not decrease but may even increase. In the end, the average opinion on unemployment for the first quarter of 2017 is expected in the corridor 9-12%. According to Miller, the growth in the number of unemployed will be affected by the reduction in staff in those areas where it is uneconomical to pay higher mentorplace. “Although the average “in the hospital” the situation will improve, but it will be a statistical improvement at the expense of pruning the lower threshold minzarplat. That is, the level of real unemployment will increase and, most likely, will be possible to display the overall picture of the labour market,” notes Paul Miller.

And Zablovsky notes that the unemployment rate will remain in the first quarter of 2017 high: “Improving the employment will start only in conditions of stable economic growth and improving the investment climate. That is, the positive dynamics can be observed not before the second half of 2017,” says Zablovsky.

GAS. If you talk about the average price of imported natural gas, the experts tend to predict its value in the range of $185-215 per thousand cubic meters. This means that gas prices will rise after the price of oil, says Zablovsky, because this trend was observed at the end of 2016. I agree with this opinion and Valentin Zemlyansky, who explains the upcoming increase in the cost of imported gas not only by rising oil prices, but inflation and the devaluation of the hryvnia. “Ukraine is 85% import-dependent, and the purchase of gas to be paid in foreign currency. These classifications will affect the rising cost of imported gas in early 2017, as it will continue heating season. And the prices for gas in Europe and Russia may also grow,” — said V. Zemlyanskyy. In turn, Miller does not exclude a small reduction in the price of gas — it can be affected by a General decline in demand for natural gas, falling oil prices and cheaper electricity generation solar and wind stations.

WHAT CAME TO PASS. The previous consensus forecast for the fourth quarter of 2016, respectively, resulting in a number of indicators (inflation, wages) for the full year came to pass about 85%. So, the experts were spot on with the price of gasoline fuel actually turned out to be more expensive by 10 kopecks/liter, or 0.4%. Guess to the average salary — it has grown by more than 43 UAH, or 0.8%, and the hryvnia — promised 26,8 UAH/$ NBU official exchange rate was 27,2 UAH/$, or 1.5% higher. And also guess with the national debt: predicted 1.75 trillion UAH — was 1.74 trillion.

Close to real was the price of gas — $194 per 1 thousand cubic meters. m against the estimated $193. Inflation calculated by the state statistic Committee, was for 11 months of last year to 11.4% that year should give the 12-12,5%, as promised by our economists. They were wrong only with unemployment: if the forecast is for 9.3% of the extra hands, “according to the state statistics Committee” was 8.8 per cent.