As per the Budget Code, following the delivery of macroeconomic forecasts and information concerning basic directions of Georgia's ministries by the government of Georgia to the parliament, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) is publishing its independent forecasts.
Major dynamics of the forecasted variables are as follows:
• The real GDP 2019 growth forecast (4.7%) exceeds the government forecast (4.5%) by 0.2 pp and is 0.8 pp lower compared to the PBO forecast of June 2018. PBO assesses that this difference with the previous forecast is mainly caused by two factors: In the 2nd half of 2018 the external economic environment has not improved significantly, while the 2019 economic growth forecasts for major trading partner countries have been downgraded. Moreover, PBO evaluated the retail loan regulations initiated by the National Bank of Georgia, coming into effect on 1 January 2019. Taking these regulations into account, we expect credit to the national economy to decline in 2019, thus followed by a fall in aggregate demand. It should be noted that the PBO medium run forecast (5.2%) takes into account a planned/expected major increase in government capital expenditures (non-financial assets), the factual dynamics of which might have an impact on realization of PBO forecasts.
• According to PBO forecast, in 2019 the consolidated budget overall balance (GFSM 2001) ratio to GDP will be equal to -2.1% This differs by 0.1 pp from the overall balance given in BDD (-2.2%), which is caused by differences in forecasts of consolidated budget revenues and GDP. It should be noted that, as mentioned above, with respect to consolidated budget expenditures, PBO forecasts treat the BDD medium run fiscal plan as the baseline scenario.
• According to PBO forecast, the expected current account deficit amounts to 9.5% of GDP in 2019, while the government forecast equals 8.5%. The PBO 2019 current account balance forecast differs from that of June 2018, which reflects different than expected external trends in 2018 and the expected increase of the 2018 current account deficit.
For more details about updated forecasts of other economic variables, see the full document.