At the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia held on 4 September 2013 Zurab Japaridze declared: “In the course of the last 11 months the economy has been growing at the rate of 2.2-2.3% while in recent years the average growth rate was at 7%. Tracing the economic growth rates over the quarters we notice that in the fourth quarter of 2012 the economy has grown by 2.8%, in the first quarter of 2013 – by 2.4%, in the second quarter of 2013 – by 1.4%. Not only is the rate of economic growth decreasing but the pace of this decrease is also considerably high. If in the first case we had a decrease by 0.4%, now it’s decreasing by 1% each quarter. According to the latest data published in July, the economy has grown by 0.6% which means that we’re at a standstill and let me remind you that prior to that, the rates of economic growth were negative altogether.”

**FactCheck**inquired about the accuracy of the facts mentioned in the statement and tried to verify them based upon the information provided on the website

of the National Statistics Office of Georgia.

As the statistical data for August will be published by GeoStat only by the end of September, we can only analyse a ten-month period between October and July. However, this time frame proves to be sufficient for checking the accuracy of the MP’s statement.

The chart below shows the rate of economic growth in the interval of October-July 2013. In July the rate of economic growth was indeed 0.6%, as noted by the MP, and in June the indicator was equally at 0.6%.

In the period between October and July the GDP growth rate was roughly at 2.0% instead of the 2.2-2.3% named by Japaridze. Despite the fact that the numbers for August have not yet been published, the rates for August would have to be 3.8-4.9% in order for the average of the last 11 months to be 2.2-2.3%. Normally,**FactCheck**

avoids speculations and prognosis based thereupon, but in this particular case, and bearing in mind the indicators of the past ten months (October-July), we dare to assert that it is less likely for the GDP rate to surpass 3.8-4.9% in August. Therefore, this minor inaccuracy does not make a substantial change in the meaning of the MP’s statement.

Disregarding the GDP growth rates from the year of the Georgian-Russian war and the year following, the Georgian economy was indeed growing by 7% in 2010, 2011 and the first three quarters of 2012 (in the first three quarters of 2012 the growth rate was roughly at 7.4%). However, due to a drastic drop in the fourth quarter of 2012 (down to 2.8%) the average GDP growth rate of 2012 sank to 6.1%.

The chart below shows the data on the rates of GDP growth in recent years (* marks the preliminary data).

The real GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 2.8% while in the first and second quarters of 2013, the same indicator was at 2.4% and 1.4%, respectively. The tendency of a decrease, which was noted by Japaridze, is evident from these figures. In the first quarter of 2013 the real GDP growth rate decreased by 0.4% as compared to the fourth quarter of 2012 [2.8%-2.4%]; the same indicator decreased by 1% in the second quarter of 2013 as compared to the first. Accordingly, the figures indicated in the MP’s statement are confirmed by the data from GeoStat.

**Conclusion**In the course of checking the MP’s statement we ascertained that the facts he indicated are accurate. Despite the minor inaccuracy concerning the average growth rate of the real GDP and considering that we do not yet hold statistical data for August, the notion of the MP’s statement is correct. Consequently, we conclude that Zurab Japaridze’s statement: “In the course of the last 11 months the economy has been growing at the rate of 2.2-2.3% while in recent years the average growth rate was at 7%. Tracing the economic growth rates over the quarters we notice that in the fourth quarter of 2012 the economy has grown by 2.8%, in the first quarter of 2013 – by 2.4%, in the second quarter of 2013 – by 1.4%. Not only is the rate of economic growth decreasing, but the pace of this decrease is also considerably high. If in the first case we had a decrease by 0.4%, now it’s decreasing by 1% each quarter. According to the latest data published in July, the economy has grown by 0.6% which means that we’re at a standstill and let me remind you that prior to that, the rates of economic growth were negative altogether,” is

**TRUE**.