KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s central bank is likely to cut its main interest rate this week to make loans cheaper for businesses and minimise the severity of a looming recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.
Eight out of 16 analysts expect a rate cut to 9% from 10% at the next policy meeting on April 23. Three see a more moderate reduction to 9.5%, while the other five think the rate will remain unchanged.
Strict lockdowns on businesses and the movement of people will cause the economy to contract by 4.8% this year, according to the government’s estimate, the first such drop since 2015 and a big swing from an earlier forecast of 3.7% growth.
The looming recession has prompted President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government to ask the International Monetary Fund for an $8 billion loan package, which remains conditional on parliament passing a banking