Georgian Consumer Confidence (CCI) continued to improve in August 2017, gaining almost 5 index points over the previous month (July 2017) and more than 12 points over August 2016. Ignoring the rather wild pre- and post-election swings in the index, the CCI appears to be on a steady upward trend since bottoming out in fall 2015. In August, the CCI climbed to -16.5 points, which is almost 25 index points above its value in September 2015. This increase was driven by roughly equal improvements in both consumers’ expectations and their assessment of the present situation. Still, the CCI remains well below the peak achieved in fall 2013.
IT’S ALL ABOUT TOURISM, STUPID!
The recent surge in consumer optimism appears to be reflecting very strong growth in Georgia’s tourism and hospitality sector. According to the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA), 5.06mln international travelers visited Georgia in Jan-Aug 2017, an increase of 19% over the same period of 2016.