The FINANCIAL -- A nationally representative sample of 358 Georgians, interviewed in early May 2019, revealed that the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) improved by 4.3 index points, from -20.8 in April to -16.5 in May. A similar pattern was observed in both sub-indices from May: the Present Situation Index rose by 3.8 index points (from -23.3 to -19.5) and the Expectations Index by 4.8 index points (from -18.4 to -13.6).
Table 1, displayed below, highlights which questions in particular show improvement in Georgian consumer confidence for May: expected unemployment, current ability to save and to make major purchases, expected inflation, etc. Looking at the bigger picture, however, one can see that the slight uptick in the CCI is a continuation of a stable trend that began around two years ago, in May 2017. Observing the Overall CCI, one can notice that the index seems to have reached a level of local equilibrium. Judging from past CCI analyses, upward and downward swings in the index were driven mostly by political events, such as parliamentary elections, and by important external events, such as a regional currency crisis. Thus, given that the country’s political and economic life may have reached a form of equilibrium, the current stability in consumers’ sentiment is justified.
Table 1: Changes in Consumer Confidence (in Index Points), by Questions: May 2019
May turned out to be a positive month for both groups of the “young” (younger than 35) and the “old” (older than 35). Yet, as the graph above identifies, the Overall CCI progressed at different degrees for each group: the Overall CCI improved by 0.9 and 5.0 index points, respectively for the young (from -10.8 to 9.9) and the old (from -25.5 to -20.5). A similar pattern was observed in one of the sub-indices: the Expectations Index increased by 2.8 and 5.0 index points, respectively for groups of the young (from -11 to -8.2) and the old (from -21.8 to -16.8). While the Present Situation Index experienced a slight decline, of 0.9 index points, for the young (from -10.7 to -11.6) and improved for the old, by 4.9 index points (from -29.1 to -24.2). Table 2, displayed below, elucidates which questions in particular drove the ups and downs in expectations and in present views.
Table 2: Change in Consumer Confidence (in Index Points), by Questions and by Groups: May 2019
Unlike the previous groups of young and old, the groupings of “higher education” and “the rest” both experienced improvements in the sub-indices, thus resulting in increased Overall CCI in May. The Overall CCI rose by 4.6 and 3.2 index points for highly educated Georgian consumers (from -17.3 to -12.9) and the rest (from -27.9 to -24.7), respectively. Similarly, the Present Situation and Expectation Indices each showed progress. In numerical terms, the Present Situation Index increased by 3.6 index points for the higher education group (from -18.3 to -14.7) and the group of the rest by 3.2 index points (from -33.4 to -30.2). Likewise, the Expectations Index increased by 5.4 and 3.3 index points, respectively for the groups of higher education (from -16.4 to -11) and for the rest (from -22.5 to -19.2). Table 3, presented below, reveals the specific questions that triggered improvement to the Overall CCI for the relevant groups.
Table 3: Change in Consumer Confidence (in Index Points), by Questions and by Groups: May 2019