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Georgia forecasts 2017 GDP growth of 4 pct in draft budget
October 5, 2016 / 3:27 PM / a year ago

Georgia forecasts 2017 GDP growth of 4 pct in draft budget

TBILISI, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Georgia’s government submitted a 2017 budget draft to parliament on Wednesday forecasting gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4 percent.

The former Soviet republic had been hit by falling exports and remittances and a plunge in the Russian rouble. However, the situation has improved since April, with the lari currency stabilising and remittances and imports growing again.

Georgia, which is criss-crossed by pipelines carrying Caspian oil and gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, saw its economy expand 2.7 percent in the first eight months of the year compared with the same period a year before, when growth was running at 2.8 percent.

The government has said it expects 3 percent growth in 2016, compared with 2.8 percent in 2015 and 4.6 percent the year before.

The 2017 budget draft sees revenues at 8.71 billion lari ($3.8 billion), up from 8.8 billion lari expected this year, and spending at 8.78 billion lari, down from 10.1 billion lari projected in 2016.

The government expects 8.17 billion lari in tax revenues in 2017, 190 million lari above this year’s target.

The budget draft is to be approved by a new parliament, which will be elected in a parliamentary election on Oct. 8.

$1=2.33 lari Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Alexander Smith

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