Opinion

The FINANCIAL -- With the New Year festivities finally behind us, ISET’s Khachapuri Index started on its seasonal downhill trajectory. In January, the Index slid 4.3% m/m, reaching 3.61 GEL per one standard portion of the Imeretian khachapuri. At the same time, it is some 6% higher y/y (compared to January 2015). 

The FINANCIAL -- This week, another crazy idea haunted economically faltering Europe. According to the plans of European politicians, the 500 euro note will disappear and cash payments above 5,000 euro will be made illegal. Officially a measure against money laundering, the pretext was correctly debunked by Hans-Werner Sinn in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: the true reasons for this step is to push interest rates further down. Big notes allow to store wealth in cash, and if that is not possible anymore, interest rates can be brought even further into the negative, depriving banks from the opportunity to just set up safes to store their money. 

Janet Yellen is soft spoken. But when the US Federal Reserve Chairwoman speaks, the Earth shakes. Last month she took the podium at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, D.C and announced the Fed will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006.

The FINANCIAL -- The New Year is approaching, and Georgian housewives are already preparing for this great event. So does the ISET-Policy Institute. The special dish we have cooked for our readers is a New Year Supra Index.

The FINANCIAL -- The discussion about nature vs. nurture is over. Neuroscience shows that, while the genes supply the basic blueprint, it is experience and the social environment to which a child is exposed in her early life that determines her brain development. 

The FINANCIAL -- The average cost of cooking one standard portion of Imeretian Khachapuri increased to 3.66 GEL in November 2015. This is 1.4% higher m/m (compared to October 2015), and 9.6% higher y/y (compared to the same month of previous year, November 2014). Given that it mostly consists of food prices that are subject to sharper seasonal fluctuations, the upward trend in Khachapuri Index is somewhat steeper than that of GeoStat’s official Consumer Price Index (CPI). The latter is up 0.3% m/m, and 6.3% y/y. 

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