PM Irakli Garibashvili met government’s economic team and chief of the central bank, Giorgi Kadagidze, on January 27 to discuss depreciation of the national currency, Lari, which fell against U.S. dollar to its lowest level since April, 2004.
GEL, which was stable throughout most of 2014, lost more than 12% of its value against the U.S. dollar in a period between early November and early December. Although the Georgian national currency gained a bit by late December, GEL again started to depreciate and lost 7% of its value since January 1, falling to 2.0144 per U.S. dollar. The Georgian currency appreciated 0.7% against euro since January 1.
Economy Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, said after the meeting that at this stage “there is no need whatsoever” for the central bank to intervene by using its reserves.
President of the National Bank of Georgia, Giorgi Kadagidze, said after the meeting that although there are certain inflationary expectations, in overall no significant price hikes are observed. He said that if the central bank sees threat of existing inflationary expectations growing into actual significant price hikes, it will have to act by increasing its key policy rate. Central bank kept key rate unchanged at 4% in December; next meeting of central bank’s monetary policy committee is scheduled for February 11. Annual inflation stood at 2% in December.