Monday, May 21, 2012

Gambia’s currency loses value

As at end-April 2012, the value of The Gambia’s currency, the Dalasi, depreciated against all major international currencies, Central Bank Governor Amadou Colley revealed during the quarterly press conference of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on 18 May.

Governor Colley said the value of the Dalasi dropped by 6.86 per cent against the US Dollar, 4.64 per cent against the Pound Sterling.  In nominal effective exchange rate terms, the Dalasi depreciated by 5 per cent.

In the year to end-March 2012, money supply grew by 9.0 per cent but lower than the growth rate of 14.9 per cent in March 2011.

At the same period, the domestic debt increased to D9.2 billion, equivalent to 31.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Treasury bills and Sukuk-Al-Salaam combined, and accounting for 78.8 per cent of the debt stock, rose to D7.43 billion compared to D6.0 billion in March 2011. The Gambia’s pays almost 25% of the annual national budget to interest on domestic debt.

According to Governor Colley, data from the Gambia Bureau of statistics indicates that the growth of the Gambia’s economy decelerated to 3.3 per cent in 2011 from the 5.5 per cent in 2010.  He said this is attributed mainly to the early cessation of rains which affect crop production.

The provisional Balance of Payment - which is the difference between the export and import of goods and services - estimates indicates an overall surplus of US$31.73 million in 2011, lower than the US$86.52 million in 2010.

The value-added of the industrial sector is estimated at 1.3 per cent, lower than the revised growth rate of 2.6 per cent in 2010.  Mining and quarrying, manufacturing and electricity, gas and water supply grew by 1.6 per cent, 3.9 per cent and 1.4 per cent.

Key financing soundness indicators show that the banking industry remains sound with sufficient capital and liquidity.

\Inflation decelerated to 3.9 per cent as at end-March 2012 from 5.4 per cent in March 2011.  The Central Bank Governor said this favourable outcome was primarily the result of the moderation in food price inflation.


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