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Georgian economy contracts at annual 3.6% rate in Jan-April - Metro US

Georgian economy contracts at annual 3.6% rate in Jan-April

FILE PHOTO: A woman sells flowers on the street in Tbilisi

TBILISI (Reuters) – Georgia’s economy contracted 3.6% year-on-year in the first four months of this year in comparison with 4.8% growth in the same period of 2019 as measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus took their toll, preliminary data showed on Friday.

In April alone, gross domestic product contracted by 16.6% year-on-year after contracting 2.7% in March. In April a year ago, GDP grew by 5.1%.

The decline in April was registered almost in all sectors, while growth was in mining metals.

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 in the South Caucasus country of 3.7 million.

The economy is now expected to contract by 4% this year.

International financial institutions, which have also revised their growth forecasts downwards, have pledged support to the country and some have already disbursed funds to help it in mitigate the health and social impacts of the pandemic.

Georgia had reported 746 cases of the virus as of Friday, with 12 deaths.

(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Alison Williams)

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