On 30 April 2015, at the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia, a member of the Parliamentary Majority, Giga Bukia, gave a speech about Georgia’s economic growth. Mr Bukia emphasised that Georgia’s economic growth rate was 4.3% in March 2015 whilst its economic growth rate of the first quarter of 2015 was 3.2%. This, according to Giga Bukia, is the strongest economic growth not only throughout the region but, in fact, in the entire world.

FactCheck

took interest in Giga Bukia’s statement and analysed Georgia’s economic growth rate of the first quarter of 2015 against those of the region and the world.

The economic growth of a country is determined by the changes in a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP is the monetary value of all of the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders annually.

Giga Bukia based his statement upon the preliminary data of the National Statistics Office of Georgia. According to these data, the real GDP growth rate in March 2015 was 4.3% as compared to the analogous period of the previous year whilst the average economic growth rate of the first quarter of 2015 was 3.2%. In order to verify whether or not the aforementioned growth rate is indeed the strongest in the entire world, FactCheck

analysed information obtained from the Trading Economics website.

According to Trading Economics’ preliminary data, Azerbaijan’s economic growth rate of the first quarter of 2015 was 5.3% as compared to the analogous period of the previous year. Armenia’s estimated economic growth rate was 4.1%. As for other member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Kyrgyzstan (7%) and Tajikistan (5.3%) showed the highest economic growth rates for the first quarter of 2015. A sharp decrease in the economy (-7.6%) was registered in Ukraine. Economies plunged in Russia and Belarus as well. The GDPs of these countries shrank by 2% as compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Table 1:

 Changes of GDP of CIS Region States

Country First Quarter of 2015 2013 GDP per capita (USD, Nominal)
Kyrgyzstan 7% 1 263.4
Tajikistan 5.3% 1 036.6
Azerbaijan 5.3% 7 811.6
Armenia 4.1% 3 504.8
Georgia 3.2% 3 596.9
Kazakhstan 2.2% 13 611.5
Russia -2% 14 611.7
Belarus -2% 7 575.5
Ukraine -7.6% 3 900.5
Source: World Bank

As for Europe’s developed nations, the real data about their economic growth rates of the first quarter of 2015 have not yet been published. Therefore, FactCheck

considered the prognosis of the changes of GDP for the first quarter of 2015. As illustrated by Table 2, the highest economic growth rate was expected in Macedonia (4.6%) whilst Montenegro was expected to register a decrease in its economy (-2.1%).

Table 2:

 Prognosis of Economic Growth Rates of Europe’s Developed Nations

Country Prognosis of the First Quarter of 2015 GDP per capita (USD)
Macedonia 4.6% 5 481
Romania 4.3% 10 034
Poland 4.1% 14 378
Albania 3,7% 4 781
Hungary 3.4% 13 881
Bulgaria 2.0% 7 752
Turkey 1.1% 10 482
Serbia -1.9% 6 123
Croatia -1.2% 13 493
Montenegro -2.1% 7 149
Source: Trading Economics

Georgia is a country with a developing economy. Giga Bukia compared Georgia’s economic growth to the data of the world’s countries overall which is inappropriate. Usually, developed nations have a slower economic growth rate (see the link)

whilst countries with developing economies are characterised with a relatively high economic growth.

According to the prognosis of the International Monetary Fund, Georgia’s economy will grow by 2% in 2015. With that economic growth rate, Georgia ranks 137th

among 188 nations whilst among the world’s 151 developing nations it is listed at number 114.

Conclusion

Of the member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States, according to the GDP growth rate for the first quarter of 2015, Georgia is outperformed by Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia. As for Europe’s developing nations, according to the prognosis, in the first quarter of 2015 Macedonia, Albania, Hungary and Romania will have higher GDP growth rates than Georgia.

FactCheck concludes that Giga Bukia’s statement on Georgia having the highest economic growth in the first quarter of 2015, both in the region and in the world, is FALSE.

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