TBC Research has published weekly bulletin. According to TBC Research, GDP grew by 2.2% YoY in February 2020, as of the GeoStat’s rapid estimates. The measure used in rapid estimates, turnover of the VAT payers, reached GEL 6.3bn (+10.5% YoY). Trade, information & communication, real estate activities, trade, and HoReCa sectors contributed positively, while manufacturing, construction, and transportation & storage sectors shrank YoY.
Annual inflation stood at 6.1% in March, down from 6.4% in the previous month. Among the major sub-categories, prices of food & non-alcoholic beverages (+13.4% YoY) and hotels & restaurants (+8.9% YoY) posted highest growth. On the other hand, prices of clothing & footwear (-0.9% YoY), communication (-1.3% YoY), and recreation & culture (-4.4% YoY) services retreated over the same period. On a monthly basis, CPI inflation went up by 0.7%, with the highest contribution from food & non-alcoholic beverages (+2.0% MoM), possible due to boosted household purchases amid lockdown. At the same time, prices of transportation declined (- 0.8% MoM), likely reflecting the slump in oil prices globally.
Interest rates on government securities moved inconsistently in March 2020. The yield on 5-year bond jumped to 9.64% (+0.63pp MoM), as it reached 8.89% for 1-year (+0.02pp MoM) bond, but the yield for 2-year bond fell to 8.84% (-0.20pp MOM). At the same time, the rates for 1-day TIBR were up to 9.06% (+0.03pp MoM) respectively, while they were down marginally for 6-month securities. Changes in the rates reflect increased uncertainties regarding the inflation expectation in the light of COVID-19, while at the end of 2019 the rates were generally stable and started to decline at the beginning of 2020.
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