The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) further reduced its key rate by 50 basis points to 4.75% on February 13.
It’s the lowest rate since January 2008, when Georgia’s central bank launched setting monthly refinancing rate.
Annual inflation remained in negative territory, declining to -1.6% in January from -1.4% in December.
“Negative values of inflation were mainly caused by the decrease in food prices,” central bank’s monetary policy committee said in a statement on February 13. “An important one-time factor was also the reduction in regulated prices – electric power and garbage collection services.”
It also said that economic growth slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2012 also pushed prices downwards. Georgia’s economy grew by 6.1% in 2012, according to preliminary figures released by the state statistics office, Geostat, last month. The growth slowed to 2.5% year-on-year in the last quarter of 2012. Real GDP grew 5.2% y/y in October, 3% in November and contracted by 0.8% in December, according to preliminary data.
The central bank said that it would revise economic growth forecast for 2013 based on the data for the first quarter of this year. According to country’s state budget, economic growth forecast for 2013 stands at 6%.