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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine Hikes Gas, Electricity Rates,Receives $100 Million IMF Tranche

KIEV -- Ukraine's government raised consumer prices for electricity and natural gas by about 30 percent Thursday, the latest in a series of measures to cut subsidies and government expenditure.

The increases, announced by Deputy Finance Minister Anatoly Vrublevsky, raised from 60 percent to 80 percent the share of real costs borne by the consumer. They were introduced two days after similar rises were imposed on rents, heating and water.

The increases were part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund in connection with a series of tranches of a standby credit. The fund's directors approved the most recent $100 million installment Wednesday.

But Ukraine's economy continued to shrink in the first half of 1996, with gross national product falling by 8.7 percent , an official newspaper reported Thursday.

Ministers have predicted the utility price increases will prompt rises in the inflation rate of 4.2 percent within a month. The government wants to achieve an annual inflation rate of between 40 percent and 60 percent, down from last year's 182 percent.

"We have to go forward along the path of reducing budget expenditure," Vrublevsky told reporters.

The Government Courier said industrial production fell 3.1 percent, and the volume of goods produced declined at 71.3 percent of the firms surveyed.

Monthly inflation had been slashed to 0.1 percent for June, with the same outcome forecast for July.

, saying they were "satisfied with performance criteria in terms of the budget deficit and money supply."

and 3 percent within two months