Ukraine’s GDP contracted by 2% in Q1 2021, compared to the first quarter of 2020

. By contrast, the economy contracted by 0.8% in the last quarter of 2020. The disappointing first quarter results casts doubt on 2021 growth predictions, which are in the 4-5% range.

J.P. Morgan has predicted that Ukraine’s GDP will grow by 5.6% this year,

said the bank in its April commentary. This is higher than Ukraine’s Central Bank, which lowered its forecast last week to 3.8%. The Economy Ministry came out last week with a ‘consensus forecast’ of 4.1%. J.P. Morgan bases its optimism on EU and global growth in the second half, and on a rebuilding of inventories and a jump in investment in Ukraine. The bank also has predicted that IMF money will flow again to Ukraine in August-September.

The National Bank of Ukraine also downgraded its forecast for real GDP growth in 2021 to 3.8%, from 4.2%.

“The introduction of new quarantine restrictions has led to the suppression of business activity,” the bank said. “The effect of last year’s low harvests affected the indicators of agriculture, food processing and cargo turnover.” After a 2.8% drop during January-February, growth should return in the current second quarter, the bank predicts. The World Bank also predicts 2021 GDP growth of 3.8%.

The economy contracted by 2.8% in January and February, compared to the first two months of last year,

estimated the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. Except for retail trade, all sectors were down. Consensus forecasts put Ukraine’s 2021 GDP growth at 4%. These forecasts were made before the April coronavirus lockdown in Kyiv and half of the regions. War jitters about Russia’s military threats also may dampen investment.