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Monthly Minimum Subsistence Level in Georgia Decreased

In December 2014 consumer prices increased by 2% compared to December 2013. The National Statistics Service (Sakstat ) has updated the consumer basket on February 2.

The consumer basket is used to calculate the inflation rate in the country and at the same time, the consumer price index is involved in setting the target rate of inflation. It includes the most frequently consumed goods and services of an average consumer.

In 2015 consumer basket includes the names of 295 consumer goods and services which is identical to the 2014 consumer basket. Weights for  goods and services in the consumer basket have been updated. The weights are updated annually.

According to Sakstat, the new consumer basket reflects the population’s latest expenses which makes consumer price index  and the inflation rate more reliable.

Prices are collected in  the country’s 5 major cities: in the retail trade and service facilities in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Gori and Telavi,. Consumer basket is identical for each city.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages account for the largest share 30.74% (an increase of 49 points) in the basket, which increased 2.5%  in December 2014 compared to December 2013.

Accordingly, the  group’s contribution to the annual inflation rate totals  0.78 percentage points.

The highest price increases were for fruits and grapes (21.2%). Prices also increased in the following groups: milk, cheese and eggs (3.9%), fish (3.2%). Prices decreased by 1.3% for oils and fats.

Prices for  furniture, household goods and home care group increased 4%; prices in the hotels, cafes and restaurants  increased  by 3.9%; alcoholic drinks and tobacco prices increased by 2.5%.

In a given period, health care costs increased 6.7% ; the prices of medical products, equipment and devices increased  by  13.8%.

Consequently, in December 2014 the annual inflation rate in Georgia  amounted to 2% compared with  December 2013.

Recently, in light of the depreciation of GEL  a 10-15% increase in the prices of consumer products has been  observed.

Hence, “Commersant” tried to establish a purchasing power of minimum subsistence level, which as per Sakstat data, amounted to GEL 159.4 in December.
Overall, the minimum wage covers only 40 products.

Proceeding from the fact that  the National Statistical Service does not publish the January inflation rate, “Commersant” will consider the December data.

According to Irakli Makalatia, the expert at the Center for Economics Education and Research, in December food and non-alcoholic beverages have become expensiveby 8.2% compared with July. The overall price level has  increased by 2.5% in this period. In December – November by 1.2% and 0.7% reprectively.

In the fourth quarter prices of major products have  considerably increased: cheese – 14.2%; milk – 6.1%; pork – 6.1%; corn flour – 4.3%; sugar – 2.7%; bread – 1.9%. price of potatoes  has significantly reduced – 42%.

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It should be noted that the Center for  Economic Education and Research conducted the survey and calculated the minimum cost of living, which significantly differs from the data published  by the National Statistics Service.

If the minimum subsistence level  counted by Sakstat  amounts to GEL 160, the Center’s data are equal to  GEL 324.