During the latest Monetary Policy Committee press briefing held yesterday in Banjul, the governor of Central Bank, Mr Amadou Colley, said real GDP had contracted by 1.4 percent in 2014, compared to the growth of 4.6 per cent and 5.9 per cent in 2013 and 2012, respectively.
“The deceleration in economic activity in 2014 was due to lower agricultural production which declined by 22 per cent due to insufficient rains and the negative impact of the Ebola epidemic on the tourism sector,” he added.
He however said that the execution of the government budget for 2014 indicate that total revenue and grants increased to 7.6 billion dalasis – 22.4 per cent from 2013.
He continued: “Domestic revenue, comprising tax and non tax revenue, amounted to the 20.8 per cent and 21.5 per cent increase in tax and non tax revenue, respectively.
“Total expenditure and net lending amounted to 11.8 billion dalasis – 35 per cent of GDP, higher than the outturn of 8.8 billion dalasis – 27 percent of the GDP in 2013. Current and capital expenditure rose to 7.8 billion and 2.8 billion dalasis compared to 6.5 billion dalasis and 2.3 billion dalasis, respectively in 2013.”
Colley said that at the same time, the overall budget, including grant recorded a deficit of 4.3 billion dalasis – 12.6 percent, which was influenced by both domestic and external sources.
He said further: “Consumer price inflation accelerated to 6.9 per cent in December 2014, from 5.6 per cent in December 2013. Both food and non food inflation rose to 8.43 per cent and 4.83 percent from 6.72 percent and 3.74 percent in December 2013, respectively. Similarly, core inflation, which includes the prices of volatile food items and energy, rose to 6.86 per cent in December 2014, compared to 5.86 per cent a year ago. Although headline inflation exceeded the end-December 2014 target of 5.0 per cent, policy actions take time to work their way through the economy and to impact inflation.
“In the year to end December 2014, the domestic debt rose to 18.7 per cent, or 38.7 per cent from a year earlier. Treasury bills and Sukuk-Al Salam, accounting for 78.1 per cent and 3.2 per cent of the domestic debt stock, increased by 32.2 per cent and 48.5 per cent respectively.
“Volume of transactions in the domestic foreign exchange market increased to US$1.42 billion in 2014, or 8.4 per cent from a year earlier. In the year to end-December 2014, the Dalasi depreciated against the US dollar by 16.28 per cent, Euro 4.14 percent and British Pound 12.73 per cent.”]]>