By Omar Bah
The Gambia Bureau of Statistics yesterday called a press conference to reveal the outcome of the 2013 rebasing of gross domestic product (GDP) of The Gambia. Presenting the latest report at the GBOS Statistician General’s office, Principal Statistician, Samba Barrow said the results of the newly rebased 2013 GDP by production estimates in line with the latest system of National Accounts is 1.52 higher than its level using the old base year of 2004 and the GDP per capita rose from $450 to $684.
He said the key drivers of the growth in 2013 were crops, fishing, manufacturing, construction, wholesale, public administration, education and health.
The GBOS Statistician General, Nyakassi MB Sanyang said the outcome of rebasing GDP will contribute to guide decision-makers with reliable information of The Gambian economy for result based policy formulation, planning, monitoring and evaluation.
“Due to evolving nature of our economy, it is important to change reference or benchmark periods of GDP estimates on regular basis to include and measure emerging economic activities and products,” he said.
He said it also gives the country the opportunity to align its methodologies with updated international recommendations in line with UN system of national accounts, “This process is called rebasing and it is recommended to be done every five years.”
“Because outdated GDP base year does not reflect current realities of economic environments as in the case of The Gambia were the first rebasing of its GDP was in 1976/77, the second in 2004 and the new rebasing to 2013 the third and the latest,” he said.
The production process of rebased 2013 GDP estimates, he added, is a result from combined efforts and support from the government and World Bank that provided the necessary financial resources and technical advice through the Resident Technical Advisor.