Ukraine's gross domestic product contracted by 18 per cent in the second quarter, according to preliminary government figures released yesterday, marking the country as one of the world's most recession-battered economies.

However, economists say other fresh figures suggest that Kiev is beginning to pull out of recession, after a record 20.3 per cent contraction in the first quarter of 2009.

The figures, to be updated on September 30, indicate that industrial production in Ukraine - whose economy is largely driven by steel exports - rose nearly 5 per cent on the month in July. International Monetary Fund forecasts say Ukraine's GDP will contract by about 14 per cent overall this year.

Roman Olearchyk, Kiev

Financial Times

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