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Ukraine revises 2006 economic growth to 7.1% on output

Ukrainian economic growth accelerated to 7.1% in 2006 from 2.7% a year ago, helped by surging industrial output, the statistics office said in a revision of data.

The GDP data was revised from the 7% estimate released by the statistics agency on January 18. Industrial output jumped 6.2% in 2006, double the pace of the previous year, as steel prices rose, the Kiev-based statistics office reported on Jan. 12. Steel products make up more than 40% of Ukrainian exports. Ukraine's government and international organizations, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, had initially forecast growth of 2.5% in 2006 after Russia doubled the price of natural gas it sells to Ukraine. They raised their outlook after growth was not hurt as much as expected thanks to investment growth, steel prices and consumer spending. The government expects the economy to grow 6.5% this year, while inflation will slow to 7.5%. The World Bank and the IMF forecast the economy will advance as much as 4.5% in 2007. (Bloomberg)