According to Geostat’s rapid estimates of GDP growth, Georgia’s economy continues expanding at a moderately high pace, reaching 5.2% in the first quarter of 2018. GDP growth was mainly driven by an enhanced external environment, improved business confidence, credit expansion, and fiscal stimulus. Geostat’s Q1 growth figure is higher than the National Bank of Georgia’s (NBG) 4.8% projection for annual growth in 2018 but falls behind ISET PI’s annual GDP growth forecast of 5.7%.
The beginning of 2018 saw robust growth in the wider region, which benefits the Georgian economy. According to the official data, economic growth in the first three months of 2018 in Armenia was as high as 10.6% YoY, while Russian and Azerbaijani economies advanced on average by 1.3% and 2.3% YoY, respectively. Turkey reached 7.4% YoY growth in Q1. These developments in neighboring countries further stimulate the Georgian economy through trade, remittances, and tourism channels.