Georgian economy grows 5.3% year-on-year in Jan-Nov

TBILISI, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Georgia’s economy expanded 5.3% year-on-year in the first 11 months of 2019, up from 4.7% in the same period of 2018, preliminary data showed on Tuesday.

Gross domestic product grew by 6.4% in November, up from 2.2% in the same month last year and from October’s 5.7% year-on-year reading.

Among sectors showing the fastest growth were food processing, transport, construction and trade, while there were declines for the real estate and entertainment sectors.

Georgia’s economy expanded 4.8% in 2018.

The government expects growth this year of at least 5%, though central bank governor Koba Gvenetadze told Reuters in September that economic expansion might slow to 4.5% because of a dispute with neighbouring Russia and anti-government protests.

Fitch Ratings in August revised its growth forecast for Georgia down to 4.3% from a previous estimate of 4.6%, citing a ban on direct flights from Russia, imposed by Moscow in July.

Moody’s rating agency affirmed Georgia’s Ba2 rating in September with a stable outlook. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze Editing by Gareth Jones)