Publications

According to a survey of Georgian economists, the economic climate in the country in the first quarter of 2022 has worsened compared to the fourth quarter of 2021 but has improved compared to the first quarter of 2021. In the covered period, the surveyed Georgian economists issued a negative assessment of Georgia’s present economic situation. For the first quarter of 2022 the present economic situation was deemed to have worsened compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, albeit to have significantly improved compared to the first quarter of 2021. The surveyed economists’ predictions for Georgia’s economic situation for the next six months were even more negative. In fact, their expectations for this period were lower compared to their predictions made in the fourth quarter of 2021, but higher compared to the ones made in the first quarter of 2021.
In recent years, the number of international students has been increasing worldwide. For instance, according to UNESCO data from 2015 to 2019, the number of international students increased from 4.8 million to 6.1 million. Moreover, studies have illustrated that international students, directly and indirectly, contribute to the host countries’ economies through tuition fees, living costs, transportation, travel, and other aspects. In this issue, we overview the dynamics of foreign students in Georgia and their financial contribution to the country’s educational sector.
The number of international travelers increased by 471.2% in January 2022, compared to the same period of 2021, and declined by 62.3% compared to the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, the number of international visitors increased by 424.4% (2022/2021) and declined by 59.5% (2022/2019), and the number of international tourists increased by 455.7% (2022/2021) and declined by 46.5% (2022/2019). In January 2022, the Hotel Price Index (HPI) showed a significant 5.3% increase in prices compared to 2021, with the highest price increases recorded in Samtskhe-Javakheti (32.8%) and Mtskheta-Mtianeti (20.6%) regions. The number of employees in the HORECA industry increased steadily from 2016 to 2019 with an average annual growth rate of 10.1%. However, in 2020 the number of employees dropped by 33.2%. Even though some positive trends have emerged since Q2 of 2021, the number of employees in the industry is still well below pre-pandemic levels.  The nominal average monthly salaries of employees in the HORECA industry also increased steadily throughout the 2016-2019 period. Since the pandemic began, salaries have been declining significantly. However, since Q2 2021, salaries recorded a considerable YoY increase, which can be explained by the high inflation rate, partial alleviation of restrictions, and higher demand in the HORECA industry.
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 132 GEL per night in January 2022, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 237 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 107 GEL per night. The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in January 2022 was 441 GEL per night. In Kakheti, the average price was 567 GEL, followed by Tbilisi - 524 GEL, Samtskhe-Javakheti - 487 GEL and Adjara - 362 GEL.
In this bulletin, we discuss the positions held by Black Sea countries in various international rankings (indicators and indices). This helps us to understand and assess how those states are performing in different areas, to detect what similarities and differences can be found between the countries of the region, as well as to compare the performance of Black Sea countries with that of the rest of the world.  
PMC Research Center has launched a new periodic newsletter entitled Macro Overview.  It aims to review the recent trends and developments of the Georgian economy and sets the stage for what is to come in the approaching months.   Macro overview highlights some of the key indicators in Georgian economy such as inflation, economic growth, and employment. It also explores external sector of the economy, overviewing trends in tourism, trade, remittances and FDI. The publication consolidates and includes analytical pieces from the PMC Research Center’s periodic newsletters, such as economic outlook and indicators series, monthly tourism update, black sea bulletin, employment tracker. It also includes insights about the expectations of businesses and economists about the future of the Georgian economy from our Georgian economic climate and bag indexes.
The Employment Tracker is a new periodic publication developed by PMC Research Center, in collaboration with Jobs.ge. The tracker produces valuable insights into the Georgian labor market as it lays out the trajectory of employment and salaries, most demanded job categories, and expectations of specific economic sectors regarding their employment plans. Using real-time data, the insights produced by the tracker can prove crucial to rapid analysis and decision-making process with regards to the labor market. The publication illustrates a 6-month trend of individuals receiving salary and the number of vacancies posted on Jobs.ge. Additionally, in every quarter based on the BAG Index Survey results, the Employment Tracker will provide information on changes in the number of employees of the Business Association Georgia (BAG) member companies and their expectations regarding the changes in employment.    
The number of international travelers increased by 249.2% in December 2021, compared to the same period of 2020, and declined by 73.3% compared to the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, the number of international visitors increased by 226.4% (2021/2020) and declined by 69.9% (2021/2019), and the number of international tourists increased by 239.1% (2021/2020) and declined by 53.7% (2021/2019). At the beginning of 2021, the Hotel Price Index (HPI) was negative compared to both 2020 and 2019, however the monthly prices showed a significant YoY increase from June 2021 onwards and recovered considerably compared to 2019 levels. In 2021, the average monthly prices of hotels exceeded both the pre-pandemic level (by 23.7%) and the 2020 level (by 39.1%). Looking at specific categories, the price increase has been most significant for 5-star hotels (by 12.1% compared to 2019 and by 51.4% compared to 2020), while for 3-star hotels the price increase has been least significant (by 4.8% compared to 2019 and by 20.1% compared to 2020).
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 135 GEL per night in December 2021, 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 106 GEL per night. The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in December 2021 was 423 GEL per night. In Kakheti, the average price was 548 GEL, followed by Tbilisi - 524 GEL, Guria – 398 GEL and Adjara - 391 GEL.
Nearly two years since the outbreak of COVID-19, the spread of the virus itself, vaccination rates, and new variants, continue to shape the speed and strength of economic recovery. In the case of Ukraine, geopolitical and domestic political tensions are also important variables to have been hindering economic growth. In this issue, we provide an overview of the ongoing economic recovery in Ukraine and try to supply an economic forecast for the country for 2022, looking at the performance of each economic sector in the process.