Georgia’s Finance Minister, Nodar Khaduri, said he disagrees with “completely unimaginable” projections provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about increase of unemployment in Georgia.
In its periodic World Economic Outlook this month, IMF projected 16.7% and 17.3% unemployment rate in Georgia in 2013 and 2014, respectively, up from official unemployment rate of 15% in 2012; in April outlook IMF was forecasting 13.3% unemployment rate in 2014.
“I was surprised that the [International] Monetary Fund tabled completely unimaginable forecast in respect of reduction of employment. It should be noted that there was no communication at all with the Georgian government and the Finance Ministry over this issue and no factual data whatsoever show that there might be any problem,” the Georgian Finance Minister said.
“On the contrary, employment has upward trend starting from the second quarter [of 2013] and this process will further strengthen, export has increased and we think that unemployment will be significantly reduced in following years,” Khaduri added.
IMF expects Georgia’s economic growth to slow down to 2.5% in 2013 after 6.1% growth last year; IMF’s forecast for next year’s growth is 5% - the same figure is indicated in the government’s initial draft of 2014 state budget.
“Growth in Georgia is expected to moderate given slower private investment, weak credit growth, and budget underspending,” IMF said in its World Economic Outlook, adding that “resolution of recent political uncertainty is needed to restore investor confidence.”