By Sheriff Janko
The governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia has announced that the country’s economy is projected to grow from 3% in 2017 up to 5% in the medium term.
Speaking to reporters at a press briefing on Thursday morning, Mr. Bakary Jammeh said growth increased from 2.2 per cent in 2016 to 3.0 per cent in 2017.
The expected growth is premised on agricultural production, trade, tourism as well as implementation of sound macro-economic policies and improved business confidence, he said.
“In the medium term, growth is projected to reach 5 percent against the backdrop of implementation of strong reform measures,” he stated.
Global Economic Outlook
On the global economic outlook, Governor Jammeh indicated that since the last MPC meeting, the outlook for the global economy continues to improve, underpinned by notable increase in investment, trade and industrial production in advanced economies supported by high business and consumer confidence.
“Moreover, benign global financial environment and recovery in advanced economies are expected to support growth in emerging economies. The slowdown in Sub-saharan Africa appears to be easing, due mainly to recovery in oil production and easing of drought conditions in Eastern and Southern Africa” he added.
Exchange Rate development
The CBG boss disclosed that in the year to end September, 2017, volume of transaction in the domestic foreign exchange market totaled US$1.2 billion compared to US$1.4 billion the same period last year, reflecting the impact of the political impasse during the first quarter of 2017.
“On quarterly basis, volume of transaction increased from US$299.1 million in the second quarter to US$403.8 million during the third quarter of 2017.”
The dalasi, according to him, remains stable in the domestic foreign exchange market, saying from September 2016 to September 2017, the dalasi depreciated against the US dollar by 2.7%, Pound sterling 0.9% and Euro by 4.7%.
Commenting on the domestic debt, Jammeh lamented that as at end-October 2017, domestic debt stock remained stable at D29 billion compared to the same period last year.
He continued: “Treasury bills and Sukuk Al Salam combined, accounting for 58.3% of the domestic debt, declined to D17.9 billion in October 2017 from D18.1 billion in the same period last year. Government’s position at the Central Bank was a net repayment of D3.6 billion in October 2017 from a new borrowing (net) of D2.3 billion at the end the December 2016. Yields on all short term government securities declined markedly in 2017, reflecting reduced borrowing by government in the domestic market”.
The banking sector, he went on, remains well capitalised, highly liquid and also profitable, adding that the risk weighted capital adequacy ratio stood at 38.7%, significantly higher that the statutory requirement of 10 percent.
“Liquidity ratio of the banking industry stood at 99% in September 2017 from 98.2% a year ago and also significantly higher that the requirement of 30%. Return on assets and return on equity stood at 2.03% and 13.24% respectively” he stated.