The latest ‘Europe and Central Asia Economic Update’ published by the World Bank reads that the Georgian economy is unlikely to recover to pre-Covid levels until late 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit Georgia hard. Mobility restrictions, a sudden halt to international tourist arrivals, and weak external demand drove an estimated economic contraction of 6.2% in 2020. The poverty rate increased by an estimated 5.4 percentage points. Job and income losses were severe. The fiscal deficit and public debt rose above statutory levels as the crisis put pressure on fiscal and external balances", reads the report.
The World Bank says that the Georgian economy is projected to expand to 4% in 2021 and then to firm to 5% in 2022.
Despite this improvement, output is unlikely to recover to pre-Covid levels until late 2022, in part owing to a subdued outlook for international tourism over the forecast horizon", reads the report.
The World Bank regional director for the South Caucasus Sebastian Molineus said that the pace of Georgia's recovery beyond 2021 'will be contingent on vaccine rollout and the restoration of international trade and investment'.
For a sustained and resilient recovery, Georgia will need a continued focus on slowing the spread of Covid-19 infections, large-scale vaccination, and addressing longer-term challenges, including human capital, strengthening institutions and promoting a digital and green recovery”, he said.
Meanwhile, the National Statistics Office of Georgia has published rapid estimates of Georgian economic growth, which reads that estimated real gross domestic product declined by 5.1% in February 2021 year-on-year and by 8.3% in January-February of 2021 year-on-year.