The COVID-19 outbreak has negatively affected the Georgian economy through a reduction in FDI, exports of goods and services, and remittances. In addition, uncertainties caused by the pandemic and containment measures hit consumption and domestic investment. As a result of this reduction in aggregate demand, combined with increased production costs due to pandemic-related constraints, GDP is expected to contract by 5% in 2020 according to NBG’s latest monetary report.
In June 2020, the average cost of cooking one standard portion of Imeretian khachapuri was 3.93 GEL. Compared to the previous year (June 2019), the Khachapuri Index gained 13%. While going up in yearly terms, the Index actually dropped by 4.2% compared to the previous month (May 2020).
The average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri in May 2020 stood at 4.18 GEL; 6.8% lower month-on-month compared to April. However, the Khachapuri Index did increase by 24.9% year-on-year (compared to May 2019). At this time of the year, the monthly downward trend in the Index is typically driven by a seasonal decline in cheese prices (due to the increased supply of fresh milk and a resulting lower demand for imported milk powder).
The Khachapuri Index reached a new historical high in February 2020. The Index continued its upward trend, reaching an average cost of 4.35 lari in February 2020. This is 1.3% higher than in January 2020 (m/m) and 22.9% higher when compared to February 2019 (y/y). The main contributors to the Khachapuri Index’s inflation since last year were cheese (36.5%) and flour (10.7%). Furthermore, as shown in the chart, the year-on-year price of all khachapuri ingredients—milk (3.7%), butter (2.5%), eggs (6.6%), and yeast (8%)—rose compared to February 2019.
In January 2020, the cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri continued to increase, ranging from 4.21 GEL (Kutaisi) to 4.38 GEL (Batumi), with the average cost being 4.30 GEL. The new average price is 18.3% higher than the price in January 2019. While in month-on-month development, the khachapuri price is 0.7% higher than in December 2019.