January 31, 2019 / 1:26 PM / 24 days ago

Georgia's economy grows 4.8 pct in 2018, slightly slower than 2017

TBILISI, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Georgia’s economy expanded 4.8 percent in 2018, slowly slightly from 5 percent in 2017, preliminary data showed on Thursday.

Growth in December alone was 5.6 percent year-on-year, well up from 2.2 percent in November. The fastest growth in December was registered in the processing industry and the construction, services and real estate sectors.

This year the government expects the economy in the former Soviet republic, through which pipelines carry Caspian oil and gas to Europe and which is a popular tourist destination, to expand 4.5 percent.

Central bank governor Koba Gvenetadze told Reuters last week that he expected the economy to grow at least 5 percent in 2019.

Fitch Ratings reaffirmed Georgia’s long-term foreign currency rating at “BB-“ with a positive outlook in August. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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