Opinion

The FINANCIAL -- During the last 12 months, the Georgian authorities have been conducting interesting experiments designed, so it seems, to test the resilience of domestic beer producers. In September 2014, the industry was hit by Article 171 of the Civil Code, prohibiting alcohol consumption in public places. The beer market, 97% of which is supplied by local producers, has immediately shrank by 22% (in physical volume, see chart), in annual terms.

The FINANCIAL -- The Georgian wine industry had a couple of very good years in 2013 and 2014, following the opening of the Russian market. Exports skyrocketed, prices of grapes followed suit. For all the talk about diversification, within just two years, Russia’s share in the total exports of Georgian wine shot up from 0 to almost 68%. 

The FINANCIAL -- In August 2015, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri in August 2015 was 3.49 GEL, which is 11.4 % higher month-on-month (m/m, that is compared to the previous month), and 7% higher year-on-year (y/y, that is compared to the same month of last year). 

It is easy to understand what it means for an economy to be weak or strong. We know that a strong economy is characterized by low unemployment and high growth rates. Other desirable traits are, for example, low levels of poverty and income inequality, when all citizens enjoy reasonable standards of living. 

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