15 Feb 2023 18:07

Georgia's inflation was at 9.4% in 2022, above govt forecast

TBILISI. Feb 15 (Interfax) - Georgia recorded inflation at 9.4% in 2022, according to the National Statistics Office of Georgia.

Consumer prices in the country grew by 13.9% the previous year.

The National Statistics Office says that the level of annual inflation dived below 10% in December 2022 for the first time since July 2021.

In June 2022, the Georgian government raised its inflation forecast for the current year to 9.1%. This figure is twice as high as the forecast of 4.5% made back when the state budget for 2022 was being approved.

The main factor to be taken into account when looking into the formation of inflation in 2022 is changes in prices on food products and non-alcoholic beverages, the National Statistics Office said. Prices on this category of goods were up 15%, which, according to the Statistics Office, accounted for more than a half of the total annual price gain in the country, specifically, 5.03 percentage points of overall inflation.

Of all product groups, the highest price hikes were recorded for vegetables, melons and gourds, prices on which soared by 26.5%. Bread and bakery products appreciated by 22.8%, coffee, tea and cocoa by 17.1%, milk, cheese and eggs by 16.7%, mineral water by 16.5%. Prices on fish grew 13%, sugar, jam and other confectionaries by 12.4%, meat and meat products by 8.7%, sunflower oil and fat by 4.7%.

The cost of utilities in the country went up by 13.1%, the National Statistics Office of Georgia.

According to the press service for Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, the Georgian government has been particularly concerned with food inflation. In this regard, Garibashvili tasked the ministries in charge of the country's finance, economy and agriculture with forming a working group to look into the situation. In particular, the working group must find out why importing companies add 60%-65% to the cost of imported goods, which, with further surcharges by retailer chains, prompts food prices to double. The Georgian prime minister finds it unacceptable and expects relevant recommendations in order to change the situation, the press service said.