Geostat has published its rapid estimate of real GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2020, and their estimated growth stands at -6.5%, which is 1.3 percentage points below the ISET-PI’s most recent forecast. The annual real GDP growth in 2020 amounted to -6.1%, which is 0.6 percentage point lower than our recent prediction. Economic activity fell sharply due to global pandemic, although the decline was mitigated by the relatively strong fiscal stimulus and lending.
For the first quarter of 2021, BCI increased by 32.1 index points and reached 3.4 after a significant deterioration in the previous quarter. Business confidence improved across all sectors, except retail trade, with the largest increase observed in the construction sector. The positive change in BCI, for Q1 2021, is driven by optimistic future expectations and improved past performance.
The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns about the food security of many countries, in particular import-dependent developing countries like Georgia. Trade restrictions imposed by Georgia’s trade partners tightened the supply of some cereals and vegetables, signalling the risk of an increase in food prices.
The real GDP growth rate amounted to -3.9% year-on-year for October 2020. Consequently, the estimated real GDP for the first ten months of 2020 was -5.1%. Recently, GeoStat released its preliminary estimate of real GDP growth for the first and second quarters of 2020. The Q1 and Q2 growth rates were revised downward to 2.2% (by 0.1 ppt) and -13.2% (by 0.9 ppt) respectively.
For the fourth quarter of 2020, BCI decreased by 18.7 index points and reached -28.6 after a significant improvement in the previous quarter. Business confidence deteriorated across all sectors, except retail trade and financial. The largest decrease is observed in the construction sector. The negative change in BCI, for Q4 2020, is driven by significantly pessimistic future expectations.