ISET

In June 2014, the CCI experienced a slight increase compared to the previous month. Both its components, the expectations and the present situation indices, improved. The improvement was much more significant in the expectations index, which increased by 2.8 points; while the present situation index improved by only 1.8 points. The overall Consumer Confidence Index increased by 2.3 points to reach -9.8 points. The increase in the expectations index might be explained by the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, which is perceived as leading towards a good/European life for Georgia in the future. Another factor that positively contributed is the local elections. Our past experience with CCI data shows that consumers’ expectations hike just before elections (as it did in both November 2012 and 2013). In year-on-year terms, the overall CCI is again negative (-1.0), meaning that in the same period last year consumer confidence was a bit higher than it is now. But interestingly enough, the change in the expectations index became positive for the first time in five months. The present situation index significantly worsened (down by 3.1 points), which outweighed the positive change in expectations. A few things to note: •

In April 2014, the CCI started to increase after four consecutive months of decline. However, that increase proved to be short lived. In May 2014, the CCI remained at almost the same level as in the previous month: the present situation index decreased by 0.7 points and the expectations index decreased by 0.9 points for a total CCI decrease of 0.8 points. As the extent of these changes are not significant, one can say that the CCI has not changed between April and May. This is due to the fact that elections will take place next month (June 2014) and people are waiting for results. In year-on-year terms, the CCI is again below 0, meaning that the CCI was higher in the same period last year than it is now. In May 2013, the decrease in the CCI was much more pronounced than in May 2014 (a drop of 4.8 points). However, the four consecutive months decrease in the CCI (between December 2013 and March 2014) has made the overall CCI lower than last month’s corresponding value. A few things to note: •

In April 2014, the CCI stopped dropping after four months of consecutive decline. During those four months (December-March 2014) the CCI dropped by 12.3 points in total. Last month (March 2014) the CCI reached a historical minimum of -13.7 points. In April 2014, the overall CCI increased by 2.3 points to reach -11.3 points. This improvement was driven by an increase in both parts of the CCI: the Present Situation Index gained 2.8 points, amounting to -13.6 points, while the Expectations Index was up by 1.8 points, reaching -9.1. One year ago, in April 2013, the CCI also increased (up by 1.2 points) compared to the previous month, but the CCI increase in April 2014 was a little higher (up by 2.3 points). Despite this, the CCI remains 4.9 points down in year-on-year terms. The slight increases in both April 2013 and April 2014 can be explained by the warmer weather of spring and the Easter holidays. Georgia is a religious country and, as one of the most important days in the calendar, Easter affects Georgian consumer’s perceptions. The increase of April 2014 was higher than in the previous year because of the expected role played by the forthcoming elections. We argue that politicians’ promises affect people’s perceptions. If we look at the CCI during all previous Georgian pre-election periods, it is evident that people’s perceptions increase one month before the elections.

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