Expert: in 2021 Ukraine should expect real inflation of at least 20%

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Next week, the National Bank of Ukraine will present the conclusions of its experts on the inflation forecast for 2021-2023. Candidate of Economic Sciences, independent expert Oleksandr Khmelevskyi provided the UA-Times with his forecast. 

“According to the Government and the National Bank, inflation in 2020 was 5%. However, these data are questionable”, – said Oleksandr Khmelevsky.

It will be recalled that according to the official indicators of the State Statistics Service, in December 2020 consumer inflation accelerated to 5% on an annualized basis, and on a monthly basis prices increased by 0.9%. “During the year, inflation was mostly below this range of 5% – it was restrained by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine restrictions. Falling world energy prices, as well as declining demand for non-priority goods and services, have kept inflation low. The weakening of the hryvnia affected consumer prices with a certain time lag, ”the National Bank commented on the State Statistics Service.

Khmelevsky emphasizes that last year the hryvnia depreciated against the dollar by 19.4%, which led to higher prices for all imported goods. On average, utilities have risen by at least 15%. Food prices have risen significantly: vegetables have risen in price by 30-70%, dairy products by 30%. Therefore, it is possible to say that real inflation in Ukraine is higher than indicated by official bodies.

“Real inflation in Ukraine in 2020 was about 15%. Unfortunately, in Ukraine, the government, as in many other countries, underestimates inflation,” – Khmelevsky sums up.

“For 2021, the government forecasts inflation at 7.3%, and the National Bank – 6.5% – continues the candidate of economic sciences. – Maybe in a year we will be informed that these indicators have been met. But actual inflation will be much higher. An increase in utility tariffs has already been announced. The devaluation of the hryvnia will accelerate. The pandemic and economic crisis will continue. The government does not collect the revenues planned in the State Budget and will be forced to resort to much larger than planned borrowings. At the same time, the National Bank will increase the money supply. So real inflation in 2021 will be at least 20%.

Translation: Ann Loboda


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