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Finance Minister Predicts 5% Growth for 2014

Published: October 4, 2013 | 12:02 pm
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Five percent economic growth – unfounded optimism, or a realistic target? Against the background of the failure to attain the 6% growth which was predicted at the beginning of 2013, the forecast for next year’s growth has been set at 5%. According to the Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri, the 2014 State Budget will largely focus on social aspects. However, a sharp increase in direct foreign investment is expected from the last financial quarter of this year onwards. Therefore, according to Mr. Khaduri, the 5% figure is a conservative estimate.
The parliamentary opposition has described the 2014 State Budget as poorly prepared, and stated that if approved in its current form, it will lead to an increase in unemployment. According to Giorgi Vashadze of the United National Movement, funding has been reduced for those programmes which are supposed to lead to an improvement in the economic growth figures and a fall in unemployment. He added that this year’s budget deficit is 3.9% instead of the initially predicted 2.9% and will continue to increase next year under the current terms of the 2014 State Budget.
The IliaUni Business Review researcher Irakli Lekvinadze has described the 5% growth forecast as optimal. According to him, since 2014 is a non-election year, business will exit the ‘wait and see’ mode and the economic figures will improve. However, the burden of paying for the social programmes must not be placed upon the private sector, Mr. Lekvinadze has added.

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