Economic Growth Forecast to Hit 7.0%

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Latest data released by the monetary policy committee of the Central Bank of The Gambia indicate that the country continues to show glimpses of reaping more from agricultural production and other services as its economy is projected to grow at a robust 7.0 percent.

The percentage growth in the country’s economy, according to the acting Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Bamba Saho, is underpinned by plentiful and well distributed rainfall which is expected to increase agricultural production, expand the services sector including banking, tourism and communications, as well as the continuing boom in the construction industry. Mr. Saho was making a statement at a press briefing at the Central Bank last week.

The statement also showed that money supply grew by 17.2 percent in the year to end July 2007, compared to 16.3 percent a year earlier. Narrow money increased by 15.1 percent and quasi money by 19.4 percent while compared to end December 2006, money supply grew only by 2.3 percent.

“Reserve money, the bank’s operating target, grew by 6.6 percent, lower than 16.2 percent a year earlier. Relative to end December 2006, reserve money growth was negative 10.5 percent,” the statement revealed.

With this, according to Mr. Saho, expectations are that money supply and reserve money would grow below the end December targets of 13.3 percent and 10.6 respectively while government’s fiscal policy stance continues to focus on supporting the disinflation process and sustaining economic growth.

The Public finances performed better than projected in the first half of 2007 with domestic revenue exceeding the target by D204.0 million owing to higher than projected tax and non-tax revenue.

However, total expenditure and net lending, on the other hand, was below projection by about D0.5 million while the overall fiscal balance recorded a surplus of D415.3 million compared to the projected deficit of D96.7 million.

Between end- December 2006 and end-July 2007, the Central Bank statement revealed, the Dalasi appreciated by 9.7 percent, 3.8 percent, 2.2 percent and 4.9 percent against the US dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro and CFA Franc respectively.

The developments showed that the strengthening of the Dalasi reflected improved marco-economic fundamentals including robust output growth, increased foreign currency inflows from foreign direct investment, private remittances, re-exports, travel receipts and cashew exports as well as confidence in the Gambian economy and healthy reserves.

Author: By Baboucarr Senghore
Source: The Point