In February 2016, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri declined to 3.44 GEL, which is 4.3% lower month-on-month (that is compared to January 2016), and 4.7% higher year-on-year (compared to February 2015).
The monthly (negative) change in the Index follows the traditional seasonal trend in fresh milk production, which gradually resumes in January and February. The annual increase, however, reflects an uptick in price inflation.
Practically all khachapuri ingredients (with the exception of flour, which dropped 1.6% y/y) went up in price compared to last year: cheese (up 4.9%), eggs (2.7%), milk (10%), butter (15%) and yeast (9.3%). These increases are very much in line with the official estimate of annual inflation by GeoStat, currently standing at 5.6%.
The leaders in annual prices increases are products falling into the “alcoholic beverages and tobacco” category (up 14.3%). Georgian are now expected to pay more for “bads”, such as alcohol and cigarettes, because of a hike in excise taxes introduced in the course of 2015. Prices went up, albeit at a slower pace, in other categories as well: health, household equipment, and house maintenance expenditures are up by 10.5%. Food and non-alcoholic beverages went up 4.6%. Prices remained roughly stable or slightly decreased in the clothing and footwear (-0.4%) and transport (-1.5%) categories.