Gov’t’s revenue, others catapult to D2.09BN in 2014 – CBG governor
The data on the government’s fiscal operations in the first quarter of 2014 has indicated that total revenue and grants have increased to D2.09 billion, higher than the D1.62 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2013, the Central Bank’s governor has disclosed Tuesday.
Speaking during a quarterly briefing by the Monetary Policy Committee at the Central Bank, Governor Colley also disclosed that domestic revenue comprising tax and non-tax has amounted to a sum of D1.57 billion compared to the D1.44 billion in the first quarter of 2013. “Grants also rose to D519.6 million relative to D185.4 million in the first quarter of 2013 attributed mainly to project grants,” he indicated.
The governor also informed that The Gambia economy was estimated to have grown by 5.6% in 2013, lower than the 6.1% in 2012. Economic activity in 2014, he noted, is expected to expand to around 6.0-6.5% on the back of robust growth in tourism and agriculture.
The CBG chief also indicated that the overall balance of payments has narrowed to a surplus of US$39.7 million in 2013 compared to US$75.12 million in 2012. He noted that the current account recorded a surplus of US$85.54 million, higher than the surplus of US$78.9 million in 2012.
“The goods account deficit narrowed to US$102.9 million compared to the deficit of US$168.3 million in 2012. Merchandise exports amounted to US$150.4 million, a decline of 11.0%, and import has also decreased but at a stronger pace of 22.0% to US$270.04 million.
The services account surplus also rose to US$97.93 million relative to US$75.63 million in 2012. The capital and financial account deficit has widened to US$45.84 million compared to the deficit of US$3.78 million in 2012,” he further indicated.
Transaction in foreign exchange market
The volume of transactions in the foreign exchange market, the governor said it has increased to US$363.5 million in the first quarter of 2014, or 7.3% from the previous quarter. He however noted that compared to the first quarter of 2013, the volume decreased by 17.4%. On the expenditure and net lending, he indicated that this totaled to D2.69 billion, higher than the D2.11 billion in the first quarter of 2013.
He added: “Current and capital expenditure rose to D1.88 billion and D813.3 million compared to D1.53 billion and D575.5 million respectively in the corresponding quarter of 2013. The overall budget balance (including grants) recorded a deficit of D214.0 million (2.0% of GDP) which was financed solely by domestic borrowing.”
Outlook for inflation
The CBG governor explained that the consumer price inflation, measured by the National Consumer Price index (NCPI) has increased to 5.56% in March 2014, higher than the 5.35% recorded in March 2013. He indicated that both food and non-food prices accelerated to 6.42% and 4.3% respectively from 4.78% and 4.12% respectively in March 2013.
Governor Colley further pointed out that the net Foreign Assets of the banking system on the other hand contracted slightly to D4.6 billion or 0.3%.