A massive decline in CCI. The decline in consumer confidence continues. However, the magnitude in February is quite high—the index decreased by 10.1 index points and fell to -42.4, the all-time low seen since the pandemic hit. Both the Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index decreased significantly, with the Present Situation Index decreasing by 9.1 index points and the Expectations Index by 10.3 points (Chart 1).
The worsened pandemic situation has been overshadowed by the dreadful war in Ukraine that has shaken the world and taken a huge toll on consumer sentiment in Georgia. Consumer sentiment has declined in almost every aspect constructing the index. The largest decline (by 24 index points) is seen in people’s readiness to make major household purchases currently, and another great decline is seen in how they expect to make such purchases in the upcoming year (by 14 points). Another significant contributor to the decrease is consumers’ expectations about how the general economic situation will change in the upcoming year with a decline of 19 index points, followed by expectations about the changes in unemployment levels in the country (decline of 15 index points).
There is a significant difference in the fall of the CCI between Tbilisians and residents of the rest of Georgia, with Tbilisians’ sentiment declining by 4.6 index points, while in the case of the rest of Georgia the decline is 15.5 points, amounting to a 13-index-point difference between the two. The difference is mostly driven by the differences in perceptions of the current situation. The latter is much worse in the regions. Expectations are also lower in regions, but the difference is not that high. The population in the regions is particularly pessimistic about current prices and about making major household purchases. In terms of expectations, the driver of the difference in sentiment is the expected unemployment levels in the country.
BAR CHARTS: Consumer Responses by Questions