EBRD publishes growth forecasts for Georgia

BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 8

By Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has left the prognosis of Georgia’s economic growth for 2020 unchanged at 4.5 percent, Trend reports citing EBRD.

The economic growth in Georgia is projected to reach 4.5 percent in 2019, as well as in 2020, said the bank.

According to the forecast, economic growth will increase in Moldova and Ukraine, and decrease in Belarus.

The Georgian economy remains on the path of strong economic growth. Economic output expanded by 4.7 percent in 2018, driven largely by growth in trade, real estate, transport and financial intermediation, EBRD stated.

The hospitality sector continued to boom, supporting overall economic performance; the share of tourism-related services in the whole economy increased from an average of 7.3 per cent in 2015-17 to 8.1 percent in 2018.

However, output of the construction sector declined by 3.1 percent, marking the first contraction in the sector since 2013. Supported by a growing network of free trade agreements, exports of goods increased by 22.6 percent in 2018 and by 13.2 percent in the first two months of 2019, and both in nominal USD terms. In 2018, inflows of remittances increased by 13.1 percent, amounting to 10.9 percent of GDP and supporting household consumption.

Combined with thriving tourism and rising exports of goods, this caused a narrowing of the current account deficit to 7.7 percent of GDP in 2018. At the same time, foreign investment into Georgia decreased by 34.9 per cent compared to 2017, hitting a five-year low at 7.3 per cent of GDP. This came on the back of completion of the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion, the transfer of several enterprises to domestic ownership and debt repayments between connected companies.

Despite the decline, foreign direct investment (FDI) remained the main source of currency inflows, nearly offsetting the current account deficit. Balance of payments dynamics supported the currency which, while subject to seasonal variations, remained resilient to negative developments in regional economies.

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