Inflation in Georgia soars as some locals struggle to make ends meet

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By Euronews
 Khachapuri, a formally low-cost Georgian dish has been used to measure the rate of inflation.
Khachapuri, a formally low-cost Georgian dish has been used to measure the rate of inflation.   -   Copyright  Euronews

Khachapuri is one of Georgia's most famous dishes. 

Varying from region to region, it is a low-cost meal made from unleavened bread, with a generous serving of cheese in the centre and a cracked egg on top.

Georgia's International Research Institute (ISET) has calculated the rate of inflation by tracking the price of this dish in its so-called 'Khachapuri Index'. 

In June, the cost of preparing a standard-sized Khachapuri was approximately €2 in the Index, having increased 28% that month, but the price has significantly increased since then. 

According to Tbilisi's State Office of Statistics, the annual inflation rate in Georgia this September was 11.5%.

“Ever since March we have witnessed migrants entering Georgia," says George Papava, a senior economist for ISET. 

"But now the decisions undertaken by the Russian government have further increased the number of arrivals, this has placed additional strain on demand and the prices rise.” 

In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilisation of troops to fight in Ukraine. This triggered a large exodus of Russians to neighbouring countries, such as Georgia and Kazakhstan.

According to the ISET, the cost of fruit and vegetables in Georgia has increased by 17.6% in the last three months. 

However, inflation, higher energy costs and more expensive imported goods have also driven up the price of other domestic food products.

"People will not be able to keep up with this," said one shopper Lika Baidoshvili. "A large amount of people around me have a salary of €150. There is not much you can do with that amount."

"Life has become expensive, this is heartbreaking, I am a scientist and life has been tough for me, if yesterday 20 euros was enough, nowadays, €37 does not suffice", says Nunu Bezhanishvili, another Georgian buying food and veg. 

The National Bank of Georgia has been following a strict monetary policy in an attempt to reduce the annual rate of inflation to around 3%.

Watch the video above to find out more.