Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The Gambia’s stock of domestic debt remains high, increasing to D33.6 billion or 33.2 per cent of GDP as at end-of April, 2020, from D32.5 billion or 35.7 per cent of GDP in the corresponding period in 2019, an official source said here Thursday.
Central Bank Governor Bakary Jammeh said the stock of Treasury and Sukuk Al Salaam bills increased by 4.0 per cent to D20.2 billion as at end-April 2020.
He told commercial bank managers at the monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting of of the central bank that from December 2019 to April 2020, the dalasi depreciated against the US dollar by 0.1 per cent but appreciated against the Great Britain pound by 4.8 per cent and the euro by 1.0 per cent.
According to him, preliminary estimates of government’s fiscal operations indicate that overall deficit (including grants) worsened from D24.3 million (0.03 per cent of GDP) in the first quarter of 2019 to a deficit of D341.6 million (0.4 per cent of GDP) in the first quarter of 2020.
The budget deficit, excluding grants, however, improved to D0.5 billion (0.5 percent of GDP) in the first quarter of 2020, compared to D1.97 billion (2.3 percent of GDP) in the same period in 2019.
Revenue and grants in the first three months of 2020 decreased to D4.7 billion (4.8 percent of GDP) from D5.0 billion (5.7 percent of GDP) registered in the corresponding period in 2019.
Domestic revenue, which comprises tax and non-tax revenue increased to D4.5 billion (4.6 percent of GDP) during the period under review from D3.0 billion (3.5 percent of GDP) the same period last year, he said.
Governor Jammeh further disclosed that total government expenditure and net lending increased slightly to D5.02 billion (5.1 percent of GDP), compared to D5.01 billion (5.7 percent of GDP) in 2019.
He also said recurrent expenditure increased by 23.5 percent to D4.1 billion (4.1 percent of GDP) during the period under review. Capital expenditure, on the other hand, decreased to D948.7 million (0.96 percent of GDP) in the first quarter of 2020 from D1.7 billion (1.95 percent of GDP) in the same period last year.
He pointed out that inflation remained largely subdued due to weak domestic demand, low global oil prices, and stable exchange rate.
Headline inflation, he said, declined to 5.6 per cent in April 2020 from 6.9 per cent in April 2019, driven largely by the deceleration in non-food inflation.
Governor Jammeh said the consumer price inflation of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased from 6.27 per cent in April 2019 to 6.97 per cent in April 2020.
He disclosed the major drivers of food inflation during the period were bread cereals, meat, fish, fruits, and non-alcoholic beverages.
According to him, non-food inflation decelerated to 3.3 per cent in April 2020 from 8.7 per cent in April 2019, pointing that consumer price inflation for all the components of non-food inflation decreased except transportation and miscellaneous items.
The global economic outlook in 2020 has deteriorated significantly and remains highly uncertain.
Disruptions to economic activity, particularly trade and supply chains, and the collapse of tourism are having unprecedented toll on the global economy, he said.
-0- PANA MSS/RA 28May2020