The NBU production index growth picked up to 4.4% y/y in September from 3.2% in August, the central bank (NBU) has reported. The composite index for January-August was up 3.3% y/y. As in August, growth in agriculture, by 11.4% y/y, up from 9.0% in August, boosted the general index in September. This was not also on base effects, as harvesting began earlier this year, but also as grain harvest is bigger this year. We recall that GDP growth accelerated to 3.8% y/y in Q2, faster than expected. In Q3, GDP grew probably at a similar pace.
Domestic trade remained a key growth engine in September, on the back of growing real incomes. Retail sales were up 6.9% y/y, although that was a bit slower than 7.5% in August. Over January-September, retail sales grew by 5.5% y/y, which was a bit slower than last year. On the downside, decline in the manufacturing industry deepened to 1.6% y/y in September from 0.5% in August, and over January-September manufacturing grew by only 1.6% y/y. Growth in the main export-oriented industry, metallurgy, remained steady but slow. Construction declined for the second month in a row in September, by 1.0% y/y. But cumulative growth there amounted to 5.4%, on the back of infrastructure construction growth, roads in particular.