ISET

The second half of 2017 lacked any drama, at least as far as Georgian consumer confidence (CCI) is concerned. During this period, the CCI moved within a very narrow band of [-16; -20] index points, with monthly changes not exceeding one or two points. This trend continued in January 2018 – the CCI lost 1.1 index points, declining from -17.8 in December to -18.9 index points in January 2018. CCI’s two sub-indices, capturing consumer expectations and present situation assessment, moved in the opposite directions. The Present Situation Index climbed 1.9 to -23.6 index points; the Expectations Index, on the other hand, lost a more significant 4.3 index points to -14.3.

Georgian Consumer Confidence (CCI) continued to improve, albeit slightly, in December 2017. CCI added 0.5 index points over November 2017, and 8.7 index points y/y, that is compared to December 2016. Interestingly, people’s perceptions of the recent past and expectations diverged in December. CCI’s Present Situation sub-index went down by 2.3 points m/m, from -23.2 to -25.5), whereas the Expectations sub-index went up by 3.4 index points (from -13.4 to -10). However, both sub-indices ended the year ahead of their last year’s levels. The Present Situation sub-index demonstrated a rather modest improvement of only 4.3 index points (from -29.8 to -25.5). The Expectations sub-index added a very healthy 13.2 index points (from -23.2 to -10), betraying a sense of cautious optimism on the part of Georgian consumers.

2017 is shaping up as one of the best years in Georgia’s post-2008 crisis history. The economy is expected to expand by about 5%, beating early expectations and official forecasts by the likes of the IMF and the World Bank. Based on updated GeoStat figures for Q1 and Q2, ISET-PI’s annual growth forecast currently stands at 4.9%. Even that figure is likely to be revised upwards if Q3 growth turns out to be higher than suggested by GeoStat’s preliminary estimate of 4.4%.

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