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Lari exchange rate against USD to stabilize

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, December 9
Deputy Minister of Economy Dimitri Kumsishvili states that Lari exchange rate against the USD will stay around 1.80 – 1.85. Prior to the Lari’s devaluation when it sank to 1.95 against the dollar this month, the Georgian currency rate was valued at 1.75 against 1 USD.

According to Kumsishvili, this weekend showed that there was a bit of an uproar with regard to the Lari exchange rate.

“Now we are waiting for a decrease in the Lari exchange rate,” he said.

Meanwhile International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials believe the recent fluctuation of the Georgian Lari will not shake the country’s macroeconomic foundation.

IMF Resident Representative in Georgia Azim Sadikov said Georgia’s macroeconomic foundation and main indicators were solid.

"The GEL is a floating currency. The aim of the National Bank [of Georgia] is not fixation of the exchange rate. The National Bank's goal is to stabilize prices."

Sadikov believed there were several factors behind the Lari depreciation.

“The USD has grown stronger against many other currencies,” he said.

"Also, we don’t yet have data about November trade, but we presume exports have dropped and consequently, the inflow of foreign currency has decreased. This caused an imbalance between the GEL and the USD.”

He also said the main problem in Georgia was trade deficit. He stressed that Georgia consumes more than it exports.

Some analysts and the opposition United National Movement (UNM) blame the government for the lari’s devaluation. They stress that they failed to plan the budget and expenses appropriately.

However, Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri denies these accusations, stating that outside factors and developments in Georgia’s trade partner countries concerning the economy and currency affected the Lari. Nevertheless, the minister as well as the head of the National Bank of Georgia Giorgi Kadagidze stated there was nothing alarming in the process.