The Monetary Policy Committee of Central Bank of The Gambia has Thursday revealed that the government’s expenditure and net-lending have increased between January and September 2020 to 16.4 billion from D14.5 billion in 2019. The outstanding domestic debt stock has also been increased to D34.8 billion while inflation remains subdued due to less business activity in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, the committee noted that despite the pandemic, tax revenue rose up.
“Government expenditure and net lending for the first nine months of 2020 increased by 12.7 percent to D16.4 billion (16.7 percent of GDP) from D14.5 billion (16.6 percent of GDP) in the first nine months of 2019,” the reports indicated. “Recurrent expenditure increased by 29.9 percent to D12.0 billion (12.2 percent of GDP) compared to D9.3 billion (10.5 percent of GDP) in the first nine months of 2019. Capital expenditure on the other hand, declined by 17.4 percent to D4.4 billion (4.4 percent of GDP).”
On Fiscal operations, the Committee’s preliminary estimates indicated that overall deficit (including grants) improved from D2.3 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) in the first nine months of 2019 to a deficit of D2.2 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) in the first nine months of 2020.
“The budget deficit excluding grants, however, worsened to a deficit of D6.1 billion (6.2 percent of GDP) in the first nine months of 2020 compared to D5.5 billion (6.3 percent of GDP) in the same period in 2019. 14.Total revenue and grants stood D14.2 billion (14.4 percent of GDP), in the first nine months of 2020 compared to D12.3 billion (14.0 percent of GDP) in the same period last year.”
Central Bank however says revenue has risen by 1.6 percent to D7.7 billion (7.9 percent of GDP) in the first nine months of 2020 from D7.6 billion (8.7 percent of GDP) in the corresponding period a year ago.
“Non-tax revenue also increased by 82.9 percent to D2.6 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) in the first nine months of 2020, from D1.4 billion (1.6 percent of GDP) in the same period last year.”
The Committee indicated that the outstanding domestic debt stock increased to D34.8 billion (35.3 percent of the GDP) as at end-November 2020 from D33.1 billion (36.9 percent of the GDP) as at end-December 2019.
“The stock of Treasury and 6 Sukuk Al Salaam bills increased by 8.90 percent to D20.2 billion as at end November 2020. 20.The yields on the 91- day, 182-day, and 364-day Treasury bills declined from 1.88 percent, 3.72 percent, and 7.54 percent at end-November 2019 to 0.84 percent, 1.18 percent, and 2.95 percent respectively in November 2020.”
The country’s inflation has been stable and the recent surge in inflation is judged to be temporal and would return close to the medium-term objective of 5 percent in the near-term, the Committee said. The outlook is predicated on the stable exchange rate, moderate global inflation, increase in local food production and the implementation of prudent monetary policy.