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Ukraine’s trading partners: EU and Russian Federation equally important
The European Union (EU) has offered Ukraine a free trade and association agreement, whereas the Russian Federation wants to extend its customs union with Kazakhstan and Belarus to include the Eastern European state.
As far as the Ukrainian trade is concerned, both partners are of similar importance to Ukraine according to figures published by UN Comtrade: In 2012, 25% of all Ukrainian exports were destined for the EU, whilst 26% were delivered to the Russian Federation. The imports were equally balanced: 31% of all imported goods came from the European Union, 32% from the Russian Federation. In total, Ukraine exported goods worth 68.7 billion US$ and imported goods amounting to 84.7 billion US$. Accordingly, the Ukrainian trade balance was negative.
For more data on the Ukraine please consult the section "Data by country".
Retirement at 63: only one in two employees retire on age grounds
Retirement at age 63 is strongly criticised by economists, employers and younger people paying pension insurance contributions but many feel that it is fair and employees should benefit from an early retirement after a long and hard working life. As a matter of fact, these employees often stop working because of health problems – quite some time before reaching retirement age.
According to results of the 2012 microcensus, this was the case with more than 42% of the retired persons who had last worked in building construction and civil engineering or as tile layers, carpenters or dry liners in a finishing occupation. Those who had to stop working in 2011 because of health problems retired at an average age of 55.6 years. In contrast, most of the retirees who had worked in administration (58%) or in insurance and financial services (56%) retired on age grounds. For these occupations, the average age at retirement was more than eight years higher in 2011 (63.9 years).
For information on the development of older people’s employment between 2002 and 2012 please refer to our labour market section.
Consumer price index and inflation rate
The Federal Statistical Office publishes the consumer price index every month. Our short video on YouTube explains how the index is compiled and how it relates to the inflation rate, and it shows what the basket of goods and services and the weighting pattern are all about.