July 4, 2017 / 1:38 PM / 5 months ago

Georgia's economy gathers pace, grows 4.5 pct in Jan-May

TBILISI, July 4 (Reuters) - Georgia’s economy expanded 4.5 percent in the first five months of this year, official data showed on Tuesday, up from 2.9 percent in the same period in 2016, after a rise in exports and remittances from abroad.

In May alone, growth was 5.3 percent, up from 2.1 percent in May 2016 and from 2.1 percent in April 2017.

The former Soviet republic, through which pipelines carry Caspian oil and gas to Europe, is recovering from a fall in exports and plunge in the currencies of its main trading partners which has depressed economic growth in recent years.

Georgia’s economy expanded by 2.2 percent last year, down from 2.9 percent in 2015. The government in Tbilisi expects the economy to grow by 4 percent in 2017.

The country’s economy minister Giorgi Gakharia told Reuters last week that Georgia’s economy had a good chance of exceeding an official 4 percent growth projection in 2017 thanks to private sector developments and the government spending on infrastructure projects. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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