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According to the statement of the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, at the beginning of 2008, before the August war, the economy was decreasing. However, the Minister states that no one was asking questions about this at that time.

FactCheck

verified the accuracy of Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s statement.

According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the country had a 12.6% real economic growth in 2007. This trend was kept in place at the beginning of 2008 as well. In the first quarter of 2008, the economic growth rate was 11% and in the second quarter of 2008, it averaged at 8.4%. After the August war, Georgia’s economy decreased in the third and fourth quarters of 2008 by 5.6% and 1%, respectively. The country’s economy grew by 2.6% in 2008 despite the war and the world financial crisis, due largely to the high economic growth rates registered in the first two quarters.

Graph 1:

 Economic Growth Rate in 2007-2008 (quarterly data)

image001 Source: National Statistics Office of Georgia

Conclusion

Before the start of the August war, Georgia’s economy grew in the first and second quarters of 2008 by 11% and 8.4%, respectively. Therefore, the statement of the Minister is outright incorrect. However, if we assume that Giorgi Kvirikashvili might have meant the decreasing economic growth rate of the first two quarters as compared to the same period of 2007, then his statement is more correct. The economic growth rate of the first and second quarters of 2008 (11% and 8.4% respectively) was indeed lower as compared to the same period of the previous year (11.5% and 13.4% respectively).

FactCheck concludes that Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s statement that in the beginning of 2008, before the August war, the economy was decreasing is FALSE.