Although the operations of many businesses and organizations have been brought to a crashing halt due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ISET has refused to allow the crisis to hinder its work. Over the last few months, all teaching and academic activity have been shifted online using Zoom, a format that works equally well for operations of ISET Policy Institute and its efforts to serve as a knowledge accumulation and exchange platform in the lock-down.
The data behind the Khachapuri Index is ordinarily collected in open bazaars. However, given the coronavirus situation and the related recommendations, our researchers can no longer visit bazaars to collect data. To overcome this challenge, around the end of March 2020 we constructed a short online survey and asked our readers to fill out a questionnaire on the prices of khachapuri ingredients observed in bazaars from various Georgian cities.
In the second quarter of 2020, BCI decreased by 53.0 index points reaching an all-time low of -27.2 points. Business confidence deteriorated significantly across all sectors. The largest decline was observed in retail trade, followed by the service industry. The decrease in BCI was driven by worsened past performance as well as drastically pessimistic future expectations.
Beyond its impact on the healthcare system, the COVID-19 pandemic via economic shocks has already reached labor markets throughout every economy. As of 1 April 2020, ILO estimates indicate a substantial rise in global unemployment, leading to 6.7% decline in working hours in the second quarter of 2020, which is equivalent to 195 million full-time workers.
International School of Economics at TSU (ISET) and its Policy Institute are launching a Series of International Policy Panels online. Online Policy Panels will bring together distinguished economists, policy-makers, private sector leaders, and academics from various world regions to discuss acute and challenging local and global policy issues and facilitate sharing best practices across regions.