CCI is on the rise. Over the summer, the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) oscillated around the new, higher level achieved in June. By September 2023, the CCI had increased by 1.8 index points, from -21.3 in August to -19.5 in September. Both the Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index moved in the same direction, contributing equally to the overall rise in the index.
In September, consumers had the most positive sentiment towards making savings, with more than half the respondents somewhat or strongly agreeing with the statement that it is now the right time to make savings. This outcome could be driven by consumers’ desire to be better prepared for external shocks, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing with recent political instability, both globally and in the region. The survey also reveals that while most of the respondents are eager to save, only 12% actually manage to make savings.
In terms of the most negative sentiment, past inflation (within the last year) is the most notable; where almost 87% of respondents think prices have risen significantly or moderately. This is in line with expectations, as although there have been negative m-o-m inflation rates over 2023, price levels remain high compared to 2021.
Another noteworthy observation relates to their future financial situation (within the upcoming year), in which 50% of respondents are unsure about how it will evolve. This signals a high level of uncertainly among the population in Georgia. As a significant portion of respondents express uncertainty about their future financial situation, it highlights the challenges individuals and families face in making long-term financial plans and decisions.
Tbilisi vs. the Regions. The CCI is considerably higher among the Tbilisi population than across the rest of Georgia, with the difference comprising 14.3 index points. The most notable disparity between the population living in the capital and in the rest of the country relates to intentions about making major purchases in the upcoming year – Tbilisians are more eager to make such purchases compared to those in the regions. This is perhaps explicable due to the higher income of Tbilisi residents, as the average monthly salary in Tbilisi is 70% higher compared to that in the regions (for the second quarter of 2023, the monthly nominal salary in Tbilisi is 2,115 GEL, while the average in the regions is 1,239 GEL, Geostat).
BAR CHARTS: Consumer Responses by Questions
Note: Starting in July, the CCI underwent minor shifts in methodology. Specifically, the questionnaire was slightly modified, in terms of how questions were formulated when conducting a survey.