The above scenario represents the state of the Gambian economy as disclosed yesterday by the Central Bank of The Gambia, CBG, in its quarterly Monetary Policy Committee briefing which reviews domestic and international economic developments.
The governor of CBG, Amadou Colley said: “The Gambian economy was estimated to have grown by 5.6% in 2013, lower than the 6.1% in 2012. Economic activities in 2014 are expected to expand to around 6.0 to 6.5% on the back of robust growth in tourism and agriculture. In the first quarter to end-March 2014, the dalasi depreciated against the US dollar by 1.9 percent, Euro 1.2 percent and the pound sterling 3.3 percent. For the twelve months to end March 2014, the dalasi weakened against the US dollar by 12.0 percent, Euro 20.9 percent and pound sterling 21.1 percent.”
“A new data on government fiscal operations in the first quarter of 2014, has revealed a significant revenue improvement and grants to an amount of D2.09 billion – estimated to be higher than the D1.62 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2013. Domestic revenue comprising tax and non-tax revenue has amounted to a sum of D1.57 billion compared to the D1.44 billion in the first quarter of 2013. Tax and non-tax revenue have increased by 11.0% and 1.0%, respectively. Grants also rose to D519.6 million relative to D185.4 million in the first quarter of 2013 attributed mainly to project grants.
“The overall balance of payments has narrowed to a surplus of US$39.7 million in 2013 compared to US$75.12 million in 2012. The current account recorded a surplus of US$85.54 million, higher than the surplus of US$78.9 million in 2012. The goods account deficit narrowed to US$102.9 million compared to the deficit of US$168.3 million in 2012. Merchandise exports amounted to US$150.4 million, a decline of 11.0%. Import has also decreased but at a stronger pace of 22.0% to US$270.04 million. The services account surplus has also rose to US$97.93 million relative to US$75.63 million in 2012. The capital and financial account deficit has widened to US$45.84 million compared to the deficit of US$3.78 million in 2012.”
He continued: “The developments in the monetary sector revealed that broad money grew by 10.4 % in the year to end-March 2014 compared to 8.8% a year earlier. The volume of transactions in the foreign exchange market has increased to US$363.5 million in the first quarter of 2014, or 7.3% from the previous quarter.
“The overall budget balance (including grants) recorded a deficit of D214.0 million (2.0% of GDP) which was financed solely by domestic borrowing. In the year to end-March 2014, the domestic debt rose to D13.9 billion. The banking industry recorded a net income of D136.1 million, an increase of 14.0 percent from the corresponding period in 2013.
Governor Colley added: “Consumer price inflation has increased to 5.56% in March 2014 – something seen to be higher than the 5.35% recorded in March 2013. Food and non-food prices accelerated to 6.42% and 4.3%, respectively from 4.78% and 4.12%, respectively in March 2013. Core inflation, which includes the prices of volatile food items and energy, also rose to 5.56% from 5.29 in March 2013.”
By Saikou Jammeh]]>