Ukraine's gross domestic product rose 3.5% in January on the year and growth is expected to continue in the first quarter, the economy ministry said on Tuesday.

The wartime growth was mainly driven by improving logistics for producers on things like export routes and state spending for rebuilding critical infrastructure, the ministry said in a statement, citing preliminary data.

"Positive trends in the main economic sectors form a further reliable economic base for continued economic growth in the first quarter of 2024," said Yulia Svyrydenko, first deputy prime minister.

Ukraine's economy was devastated by Russia's invasion in February 2022 as millions fled the war, cities and infrastructure were bombed and logistics, supply chains, and exports disrupted.

GDP fell by about one third in 2022.

But as the war approaches the two-year mark, Ukrainian businesses have adapted to new realities.

The government estimated that GDP grew by about 5% in 2023 and economy ministry expects the economy to grow 4.6% this year.

The ministry said key sectors, including agriculture, steel and energy, had shown robust growth in January.

The transport sector was boosted by increasing domestic railroad traffic and cargo in some Ukrainian seaports.

Svyrydenko, who is also the economy minister, said the successful work of the Black Sea corridor had boosted Ukrainian exports to record levels since the start of Russia's invasion.

Ukraine launched a "humanitarian corridor" for ships bound for African and Asian markets in August 2023 to try to circumvent a de facto Russian blockade of Kyiv's seaborne exports via the Black Sea.

Government officials said earlier this month that over 22 million metric tons of cargo were exported from three ports at Odesa.

Svyrydenko said the main challenges for businesses would be access to capital, the continued destruction of industrial facilities and labour market challenges as millions of Ukrainians remain in Europe due to war-related risks. (Reporting by Olena Harmash; Editing by Tom Balmforth and Bernadette Baum)