June 30, 2020 / 9:32 AM / 10 days ago

Georgian economy contracts at annual 5.4% rate from January-May

TBILISI, June 30 (Reuters) - Georgia’s economy contracted 5.4% year-on-year in the first five months of this year in comparison with 4.9% growth in the same period of 2019 as measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus took their toll, preliminary data showed on Tuesday.

In May alone, gross domestic product contracted by 13.5% year-on-year after contracting 16.6% in April. In May a year ago, GDP grew by 4.7%.

The decline in May was registered in all sectors.

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 people.

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 health and social impacts of the pandemic.

Georgia has reported 928 cases of the virus, with 15 deaths. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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