As 2016 rolls to a close, the Ukrainian economy is finding stronger footing. The pace of recovery remains slow, but it looks sustainable and the chances of a meaningful acceleration in 2017 are high. Inflation is still in the high single digits, but a hike in regulated utility tariffs should boost it to near the NBU's 12% target by year-end. The FX market is nearly balanced and the NBU is taking advantage of slight surpluses to replenish reserves. Ukraine's external accounts look reasonably strong but they still pose a risk to the economy; any external shock could trigger market jitters. Smooth relations with the IMF and other IFIs remain a key precondition for the recovery of investor and domestic consumer confidence.
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