2017 is shaping up as one of the best years in Georgia’s post-2008 crisis history. The economy is expected to expand by about 5%, beating early expectations and official forecasts by the likes of the IMF and the World Bank. Based on updated GeoStat figures for Q1 and Q2, ISET-PI’s annual growth forecast currently stands at 4.9%. Even that figure is likely to be revised upwards if Q3 growth turns out to be higher than suggested by GeoStat’s preliminary estimate of 4.4%.
According to a nationally representative sample of 367 individuals undertaken in early October 2017, ISET’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) added only 0.2 points, rising from -19 in September to -18.8 points in October. A similarly miniscule change was observed in both sub-indices: the Present Situation Index improved by 0.3 (from -24.1 to -23.8), and the Expectations Index by 0.1 index points (from -13.9 to -13.8), compared to September.
For several consecutive years, we have been observing a seasonal spike in Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) coinciding in time with young wine festivals (rtveli) and post-harvest euphoria in rural Georgia. Not this year. In September 2017, CCI lost 2.6 points, going down from -16.4 to -19. Both CCI components, the present situation, and expectations indices declined, by 3.4 and 1.9 points, respectively.
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.
Since March 2017, the CCI has shown a positive trend. It yielded 9.1 increase from March 2017 (-31) to May 2017 (-21.9), expressing the optimistic perceptions of Georgians during these months. However, the CCI did not maintain this upward trend in June. Overall, in June the CCI went down by 3.2 points compared to May 2017 (from -21.9 to -25.1). Present Situation and Expectations Indices were also affected negatively in June 2017.