After quite a number of declines food prices started to increase in the beginning of October signaling the end of fresh fruits and vegetables’ season. Retail FPI for the 2nd week of October is 5% higher compared to the last week of September. Increase in prices is driven mostly by the increase in price of vegetables and fruits. Plum became 35.4% more expensive in October, eggplants’ price increased by 21.4% and apples gained in price 17%.
Food prices in the largest supermarkets of Georgia have been on decline over the last couple of months. Prices started adjusting downwards in July 2015 and the trend persisted in September. According to ISET Policy Institute’s Retail Food Price Index (Retail FPI) in September 2015, prices were 1% lower compared to August 2015.
The Georgian Lari has lost in value during the last couple of weeks, but, perhaps surprisingly, this has not yet translated into higher food prices. According to the latest results of ISET's Retail Food Price Index (FPI), the prices of food staples sold in the main Georgian supermarket chains have actually decreased by 0.6% during the last week of August (Aug 22-29).
Exchange rate fluctuations are one of the most popular topics for debate in today’s Georgia. Given that Georgia’s self-sufficiency ratio in food products is quite limited (34%), Lari depreciation might be particularly hurtful for Georgian consumers, who spend considerable amount of their income on food.
ISET-PI launched the Retail Food Price Index in July 2015. The project is implemented thanks to the cooperation of the largest Georgian retail chains including Carrefour, Goodwill, Fresco, and SPAR. While data from the individual retailers are confidential, the average of prices from all stores can be combined to create a general FPI, as well as FPIs for individual products.