Resume: The International Monetary Fund publishes the economic growth estimates of different countries. Beka Liluashvili, Adviser to the Prime Minister, does not specify the region to which he believes Georgia belongs. First and foremost, it is appropriate to clearly define the region where Georgia is a part in order to make any comparison. According to the World Bank’s methodology, Georgia falls within the group of Eastern European and Central Asian countries.

In this region, the average economic growth rate in 2020-2024 constitutes 3.57%. Georgia is ranked third with its 5.08% economic growth forecast and Armenia is fourth (4.56%) whilst Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are in the top positions with 6% and 5% economic growth rates, respectively.

Analysis

Beka Liluashvili, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Georgia, stated: “In accordance with the International Monetary Fund’s estimates, Georgia is the leader in terms of the average economic growth rate in 2020-2024 and is ahead of many countries in that regard.” The International Monetary Fund publishes the economic growth estimates of different countries. Georgia’s economic growth estimates for the ongoing as well as upcoming years are given in Table 1.

Table 1: Georgia’s Economic Growth Estimates for 2019-2024 (%)

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

Georgia

4.8%

5.0%

5.2%

5.2%

5.2%

Source: International Monetary Fund

In 2020-2024, Georgia’s average economic growth rate is estimated to be 5.1%. Of note is that according to the preliminary data of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the economic growth rate in 2019 was 5.2% which is 0.6 of a percentage point higher as compared to the International Monetary Fund’s initial estimate (4.6%). Politicians and civil society representatives often emphasise the need for a high, in particular, two-digit economic growth rate for Georgia’s development and to curb poverty. The authorities respond that there is a difficult economic and political situation in the region and Georgia’s economic growth rate is comparably higher. The Advisor to the Prime Minister does not specify the region to which he believes Georgia belongs. First and foremost, it is appropriate to clearly define the region where Georgia is a part in order to make any comparison. According to the World Bank’s methodology, Georgia is in the group of Eastern European and Central Asian countries.

Graph 1: 2020-2024 Average Economic Growth Rate Estimates for the Region of Eastern European and Central Asian Countries (%)

Source: International Monetary Fund

In this region, the average economic growth rate in 2020-2024 constitutes 3.57%. Georgia is ranked third with its 5.08% economic growth forecast and Armenia is fourth (4.56%) whilst Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are in the top two positions with 6% and 5% economic growth rates, respectively.

In spite of the fact that Beka Liluashvili’s statement is true and Georgia does indeed have high estimates for economic growth as compared to the region, the aforementioned growth rate is insufficient for substantial progress. In addition, there are certain cases when the actual economic growth figure does not match with previous estimates. For instance, in 2017-2018 Georgia’s estimated economic growth rate surpassed that of Armenia even though Armenia in fact achieved a higher economic growth rate as compared to the estimated figure which was also higher than Georgia’s GDP growth rate.

Graph 2: Estimated and Actual Economic Growth Rates in Georgia and Armenia in 2017-2018

Source: International Monetary Fund


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