By Tabora Bojang
The Gambia’s domestic debt increased slightly to D29.66 billion as at end of October 2018 from D29.14 billion in the corresponding period a year ago.
Addressing the press during the bank’s monetary policy committee briefing, Governor Bakary Jammeh revealed that the stock of treasury and Sukuk Al Salaam bills increased by 0.9% to D17.14 million.
He indicated that yields on all treasury bills increased to 4.97%, 6.83% and 9.25% respectively in October 2018 with preliminary government fiscal operations for the nine months in 2018 indicating total revenue and grants of D7.8 billion while domestic tax revenues rose to D6.7 billion.
“Total expenditure and net lending declined to D10.7 billion which was on account of marked drop in interest payments by 20.4%. The reserved money growth slowed largely reflecting decline in the bank’s net claims on government. Reserve money grew by 11.8%, lower than the 29.3% last year,” Jammeh added.
He revealed that the bank’s financing of fiscal deficit remains zero in November 2018.
“Food inflation decelerated to 6.5% in October 2018, from 7.4 in last year, because of the decline in consumer food inflation.”
The governor further indicated that the price indices for all the components of the food basket declined with the exception of fruits and nuts. “However there exist a marginal increase in non-food inflation, which is attributed to the rise in price indices if housing fuel and lightening, hotels and restaurants amongst others.”
He explained that the frequent rises in the fuel prices are due to the change of policy that requires that fuel prices be adjusted to international market conditions unlike being directly controlled by the state as in the former regime.
The governor further noted that The Gambia’s economy is “moving nicely and we have to sustain the reforms we are doing”. Inflation, he said is dropping to 6.5%, and with a good reserve level growth is forecast at 6% in 2019.