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Debates on the economy were held in the Parliament of Georgia on 1 October 2013. Zurab Abashidze, Member of the Parliamentary Majority, was among the MPs delivering speeches to those assembled. Assessing the economic state of affairs he stated:  ““In terms of business, total turnover in the first two quarters of 2013 amounted to GEL 18.465 billion which is 4% higher than the same indicator from the corresponding period of the previous year. Production value totalled GEL 9.465 billion which exceeds the same indicator of the previous year by 2%. The number of employees grew by 5% in 2013 as compared to the first half of 2012. Furthermore, the total sum of salaries issued to employees in the first half of 2013 exceeds the corresponding indicator from 2012.”

FactCheck

inquired about the accuracy of these figures.

According to the data from the National Statistics Office of Georgia in the first half of 2012 total business turnover amounted to GEL 17.7 billion while the indicator for the same period of 2012 is at 18.5 billion.

Therefore, business turnover registered in the first half of 2013 exceeds that of the first half of 2012 by 4.5%.

Production value of the first six months of 2013 totalled GEL 9.5 billion which tops the relevant indicator from the previous year (9.3 billion) by 2%.

In the first two quarters of 2013 the average number of employees is at 494,600. This figure exceeds the relevant indicator of 2012 (486,550 employees) by 1.7%.

The total average monthly remuneration of employed persons in the first six months of 2013 equalled GEL 755,350 and exceeded the corresponding figure from the first six months of 2012 (GEL 716,350) by 5.4%.

To create a comprehensive picture on the matter, we set out to compare the data from 2012 to that of the previous years and analyse the yearly growth rate observed in the business sector. It is to be noted, however, and this circumstance has been emphasised previously by FactCheck,

that starting from 2012 GeoStat introduced significant changes into the research methodology of the business sector. Specifically, GeoStat broadened its scope of research (researched 60,000 businesses instead of 40,000) which naturally resulted in an increase in the figures. For this reason, determining a precise yearly growth rate in the business sector proves to be unfeasible. This circumstance is often highlighted by the representatives of GeoStat as well.

Conclusion

Our query about the accuracy of Zurab Abashidze’s statement revealed that the MP correctly indicates the growth rates of business turnover, production value and monthly remuneration of employees. A different case, on the other hand, is the number of employees. Even though an increase is observed here as well, it does not reach 5% (in the first two quarters of 2013 the average number of employees exceeds the relevant indicator of 2012 by 1.7%).

In line with the analysis of the abovementioned statistical data, we conclude that Zurab Abashidze’s statement: “In terms of business, total turnover in the first two quarters of 2013 amounted to GEL 18.465 billion which is 4% higher than the same indicator from the corresponding period of the previous year. Production value totalled GEL 9.465 billion which exceeds the same indicator of the previous year by 2%. The number of employees grew by 5% in 2013 as compared to the first half of 2012. Furthermore, the total sum of salaries issued to employees in the first half of 2013 exceeds the corresponding indicator from 2012,” is MOSTLY TRUE.