Publications

Financial institutions play a pivotal role in the development of the Georgian economy. Indeed, while the financial system remains dominated by commercial banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs) are the biggest non-bank lending institutions based on portfolio volume. The PMC RC periodically publishes sector snapshots on state of MFI sector in Georgia and in this bulletin the state of sector during the period of 2018-Q1 2022 will be overviewed.
In March 2022, the number of Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian travelers entering country increased significantly and reached 45.1 thsd, 20 thsd and 16.9 thsd, respectively. The month over month (MoM) increase was especially high for Belarus (281%) and Russia (69%). Meanwhile, the exit from Georgia by Belarusian and Russian visitors has also shown a significant MoM increase. In March 2022, remarkable differences can be noticed between the number of entries and exits, indicating that significant part of the travelers, especially from Russia and Belarus, have not left the country. In March 2022, the travel receipts from Belarus and Russia showed MoM increase of 551% and 133%, respectively, which again strengthens the observation of the rapid inflow of travelers from Russia and Belarus.
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 152 GEL per night in March 2022, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 246 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 114 GEL per night. The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in March 2022 was 406 GEL per night. In Tbilisi, the average price was 574 GEL, followed by Kakheti - 451 GEL, Samtskhe-Javakheti - 373 GEL and Guria - 352 GEL.
In March 2022, the number of persons receiving a monthly salary increased by 4.9% compared to the corresponding period of 2021 and by 5.3% compared to the corresponding period of 2020. From October 2021 to March 2022, the total number of vacancies published on jobs.ge amounted to 32,380, which was 91% higher compared to the corresponding period of 2020-2021 and 39% higher compared to the corresponding period of 2019-2020. From October 2021 to March 2022, a total of 2,330 vacancies were published in the field of informational technologies, which was 33% higher than the corresponding period of 2020-2021 and 48% higher compared to the corresponding period of 2019-2020.
The marine fishing cluster in Georgia is mainly based in Poti in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region. The primary activity for companies therein is fishing in the Black Sea. Currently, enterprises mainly deploy outdated, Soviet-era vessels in their operations, which are in acute need of upgrading. However,significant measures have been taken to tackle this pressing challenge. This issue is largely based on the “Marine Fishing Cluster Diagnostic Study in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Region” published by PMC Research Center for United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) under the “EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia (EU IPSC).”
The sanctions imposed on Russia are unprecedented in their scale and speed. In total, including restrictions already been in place before the 2022 invasion, Russia has been the subject of over 5,000 restrictive measures enacted by 41 countries, which makes it the world’s most sanctioned country. This bulletin provides an overview of the most important sanctions that have been imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and an assessment of the potential effectiveness of those sanctions.
Socio-economic problems remain significantly challenging for Georgia. Specifically, in 2020, 21.3% of the Georgian population fell under the absolute poverty line. To support the most vulnerable within society, states ordinarily provide diverse social assistance, sometimes including subsistence allowance. In Georgia, the subsistence allowance program provides financial aid to the country’s poorest families, which is determined by the Social Service Agency rating system. The lower a family’s rating, the poorer their financial position. Recent studies have however indicated that the program does not help beneficiaries to get out of poverty and instead encourages them to maintain a low income in order to receive the allowance. Moreover, the Georgian government plans to significantly reform the program in the nearest future. According to the planned reform, instead of providing money directly, families will be given job opportunities to improve their financial positions. Before changes are made within the program, we take a closer look at the dynamics and structure of the population to have been receiving the subsistence allowance over the last five years. 
In February 2022, the number of persons receiving a monthly salary increased by 7% compared to the corresponding period of 2021 and by 3% compared to the corresponding period of 2020. In February 2022, the average share of persons receiving a monthly salary up to 600 GEL amounted to 25.5%, which was 3 percentage points less than the corresponding period of 2021, and 7 percentage points lower than the corresponding period of 2020. In February 2022, the average share of persons receiving a monthly salary of more than 2,400 GEL amounted to 15.7%, which was 2.8 percentage points more compared to the corresponding period of 2021, and 4 percentage points higher than the corresponding period of 2020. In February 2022, the number of persons receiving a monthly salary higher than 9 600 GEL, increased by 37% compared to 2021 and 50% compared to 2020.
In this issue we will discuss the hotel price dynamics of winter destinations in Georgia. According to the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA), Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Samtskhe-Javakheti have been among the top visited regions in winter season, largely due to major ski resorts (Gudauri and Bakuriani) being located there. Throughout 2020, the YoY HPI was negative for both regions, with a more pronounced YoY decline in Samtskhe-Javakheti. As 2021 wore on, hotel prices increased significantly and from December 2021 to February 2022 the HPI in Mtskheta-Mtianeti averaged 23.5%, while for Samtskhe-Javakheti it was 15.2%. The average monthly hotel prices were higher in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region compared to Samtskhe-Javakheti from January 2019 to February 2022. In particular, during winter months the average hotel price in Mtskheta-Mtianeti was 175 GEL, which was 12.9% higher compared to Samtskhe-Javakheti (155 GEL).
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 140 GEL per night in February 2022, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 234 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 113 GEL per night. The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in February 2022 was 416 GEL per night. In Tbilisi, the average price was 556 GEL, followed by Kakheti - 482 GEL, Samtskhe-Javakheti - 389 GEL and Guria - 387 GEL.