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Analysts predict more inflation in 2008

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Wednesday, January 9
Economists dismiss the 2008 state budget inflation forecast of eight percent as unrealistic. Independent MP Lado Papava, a former economy minister, accuses the government of manipulating current inflation figures, and argues that with a spate of social programs due to launch this year, inflation will only rise.

“Authorities assure that [current] inflation is 11.2 percent but this is absurd—the real figure is more like 25–30 percent…parliamentary elections will be held soon and social programs will continue to be implemented, meaning inflation will increase,” the newspaper Akhali Komersanti quoted Papava as saying. He added that inflation could reach 30–40 percent in 2008.

Economist Emzar Jgerenaia also said that the social orientation of the state budget poses inflation risks, as well as Georgia’s reliance on imports given increasing international prices, according to the newspaper Rezonansi.