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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukrainian Economy Slumps 1.4%

KIEV -- In a fresh sign of Ukraine's economic decline, the country's economy shrank last month and foreign trade dropped sharply in the January-April period, officials said Tuesday.

The gross domestic product was down 1.4 percent this May from the same period in 1998. GDP is down 3.5 percent for the January-May period compared to last year.

Still, presidential adviser Valery Lytvytsky, who reported the figures, argued that the economic slide has slowed.

"Ukraine is recovering from last fall's crisis,'' he said.

The crisis in neighboring Russia, Ukraine's main trade partner, proved harmful to the Ukrainian economy, causing the national currency, the hryvna, to lose much of its value.

Economic reforms have stalled and the country's economy has been shrinking steadily since independence in 1991.

Last year, GDP contracted 1.7 percent. Cabinet forecasts for this year provide for a 1 percent GDP fall.