The average cost of cooking one standard portion of Imeretian khachapuri stood at 4.62 GEL in November 2020. This is 4.5% higher MoM (compared to October 2020), and 12% higher YoY (in comparison to November of 2019). The index maintaining an upward trend at this time of the year is typical and relates to the increasing price of cheese (due to the reduced supply of fresh milk).
As the Georgian Lari (GEL) briefly depreciated in September 2020, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) once again became the subject of criticism for not being able to stabilize the exchange rate even though it had injected 120 million US$ into the economy. At a press conference (2020/09/16), the President of the NBG objected that the aim of the injection of US$ was not to strengthen the GEL since the NBG operated under a floating exchange rate policy. Rather, he went on to explain, the NBG’s constitutional duty was to ensure price stability on the basis of an inflation-targeting framework.
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).
Georgia reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by immediately introducing aggressive measures. Closing international borders, declaring a state of emergency, shutting down public transportation, banning local travel and public gatherings, closing restaurants and shopping malls, and introducing a nighttime curfew—these are all instruments that were used by the country’s government and health authorities to stop the spread of the virus. As a result, the health system was not overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
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).