July 31, 2020 / 11:43 AM / 4 days ago

Georgian economy contracts at annual 5.8% rate in H1

TBILISI, July 31 (Reuters) - Georgia’s economy contracted 5.8% in the first half from the same period a year ago, when it grew 4.9%, as measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus took their toll, preliminary data showed on Friday.

In June alone, gross domestic product shrank by 7.7% year-on-year after contracting 13.5% in April. In June a year ago, GDP grew by 5.0%. June’s decline was registered almost in all sectors. Mining metals and water supply recorded growth.

Georgia’s economy expanded 5.2% in 2019, up from 4.8% in 2018. This year, the government had expected it to expand 4.5%, before the coronavirus started to spread. The economy is now expected to contract by 4% this year.

International financial institutions, which have also revised growth forecasts downwards, have pledged support to the country, and some have disbursed funds to help it cope with the impact of the pandemic.

Georgia has reported 1,168 cases of the virus and 17 deaths. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; editing by Larry King)

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