25 May 2010 18:36

IMF raises GDP growth forecast for Georgia to 4.5% from 2%

TBILISI. May 25 (Interfax) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its forecast for Georgian GDP growth in 2010 to 4.5% from 2% previously, the IMF's permanent representative in Georgia, Edward Gardner, told Interfax.

The forecast was upgraded based on Georgia's economic performance in the first quarter, Gardner said. The successful implementation of the IMF stand-by program in the post-crisis period was also a factor, he said.

Gardner stressed the importance of holding down budget spending and maintaining sufficient reserves at the National Bank.

Georgian GDP is forecast to grow 4% in 2011, he said.

It was reported earlier this month that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) raised its forecast for Georgian growth to 3.5% in 2010 from 2% previously. The EBRD forecasts GDP to rise 4.5% in 2011.

Last April the Georgian government raised its economic growth forecast to 3%-5% from 2% previously.

Georgia saw a real contraction in GDP measuring 3.9% in 2009. Growth in 2008 was 2.3%.