Ukraine`s economy will do well to grow by 4.5-4.7 percent in 2008, let alone reach a government target of 6.8 percent, and will contract next year, President Viktor Yushchenko`s main economic adviser said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Oleksander Shlapak told a news conference inflation in 2008 would likely hit 21-22 percent compared to the government`s target of 15.9 percent.

`I believe that it will be good if Ukraine finishes the year with a growth figure of 4.5-4.7 percent of gross domestic produce,` Shlapak said. `Nextyear, unfortunately, we will have a recession, ranging from zero growth to minus

2 percent.`

The government target for next year stands at 6.0 percent. The International Monetary Fund, which this month agreed to grant Ukraine a $16.4 billion loan, forecasts 2008 growth at 6 percent and a contraction next year of 3 percent.

Official data shows year-on-year growth over the first 10 months of this year was 5.8 percent of GDP.

On inflation, Shlapak said: `According to my forecast, this year we will have inflation of 21-22 percent.`

The IMF has predicted inflation of 25.5 percent this year. Cumulative price rises over 10 months have already reached 18 percent. Inflation in 2007 stood at 16.6 percent.


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