DOMESTIC DEBT RISES TO D18.7 BILLION GDP contracts by 1.4 percent

By Sailu Bah
As at end-December 2014, the domestic debt of The Gambia stood at 18.7CBG Governor Colley
billion dalasis, a rise of 38.7 percent from a year earlier.
This was revealed at a press briefing of the Monetary Policy Committee
of the Central Bank of The Gambia at the Central Bank, on Tuesday, 24
February.According to the Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, Mr Amadou
Colley, who briefed the media, treasury bills accounting to 78.1
percent of the domestic debt stock rose by 32.2 percent, but
Sukuk-Al-Salaam, which accounts for 3.2 percent of the domestic debt
stock, increased by 48.5 percent.
The GDP shows decline. “…. real GDP contracted by 1.4 percent in 2014
compared to the growth of 4.6 percent and 5.9 percent in 2012 and 2013
respectively,” the Governor told the media.
Governor Colley blames the decline in economic activity in 2014
primarily on “lower agricultural production which declined by 22.0
percent due to late and insufficient rains and the negative impact of
the Ebola epidemic on the tourism sector.”
The Central Bank Governor said the Gambian Dalasi has depreciated
against the Dollar by 16.28, Euro 4.14 percent and British Pound
Sterling12.73 percent in the year to end-December 2014. He added that
the volume of transactions in the domestic foreign exchange market
increased by US1.42 Billion in 2014, or 8.4 percent from a year
earlier.
He said the MPC which had a meeting with stakeholders on Monday has
reviewed the domestic economy against backdrop of developments in the
global economy and the inflation outlook.
On the inflation outlook, the Central Bank Governor said consumer
price inflation, measured by the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI),
accelerated to 6.9 percent in December 2014 from 5.6 percent.
He said both food and non-food inflation rose to 8.43 percent and 4.83
percent from 6.72 percent and 3.74 percent in December 2013
respectively.
“Similarly, core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile food
items and energy, rose to 6.86 percent in December 2014, compared to 5.86
percent a year ago,” he added
Governor Colley indicated that preliminary balance of payments (BOP)
estimates for the first nine months of 2014 indicate an overall
deficit of US12.80 Million (550 million dalasis), compared to the
surplus of US13.84 million (594 million dalasis) in the corresponding
period in the previous year.
He said that while merchandise exports rose slightly to 83.15
million(3571 million dalasis), or 2.1 percent, imports increased at a
stronger pace to US259.88 million (11,161 million dalasis), or 14.9
percent.
“The Banking industry recorded a net profit of D680.0 million in 2014.
The return on assets and return on equity rose to 11.0 percent and
71.0 percent compared to 2.0 percent and 14.0 percent respectively in
2013,” said Governor Colley.

Central Bank Monetary Policy Committee