3 May 2018

Sierra Leone: Governor Projects 6.1 Percent Economic Growth in 2018

The Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr. Patrick Conteh, has disclosed that the country's economy is expected to grow at 6.1% in 2018.

He said the economic recovery process that started in 2016 slowed down in 2017 due to operational challenges experienced in the iron ore sector.

"There is a prospect for economic growth in 2018. At minimum, we expect to achieve 6.1%. The price for iron ore at the World Market has increased and there is now political stability in the country. With political stability, the country would attract more investors," he said.

Dr. Conteh was speaking yesterday at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development conference hall, whilst addressing journalists and civil society organsations on the status of the economy after President Bio issued two executive orders aimed at boosting revenue generation.

On the issue of monetary policy and inflation, the Bank Governor said the pressure on inflation remains elevated, though moderating.

"Inflation declines persistently from a peak of 20.22% in March 2017 to a level of 14.69 as at January 2018," he said.

He said the Central Bank of Sierra Leone maintained a tight monetary policy in 2017 to the extent they had to increase the monetary policy rate from 11% in December 2016 to 14.5% in December 2017.

"The Central Bank anticipates a single digit inflation will be achieved in the mid of term. This in turn will complement effort to preserve the value in Leones and create the enabling macro economy environment to boost investment and promote growth and job creation in the country," he maintained.

He assured that the banking system was safe and sound despite experiencing challenges from debtors who have refused to repay loans.

Meanwhile, Financial Secretary Sahr Jusu revealed that the government has raised Le7 billion since the two executive orders were announced by the president.

Jusu said the new administration has also created a single treasury account for all agencies, including the Environment Protection Agency, Sierra Leone Insurance Commission, Audit Service and the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration to transfer their funds.

He disclosed that most the arears owed by government to various institutions have been cleared, coupled with the payment of salaries for April without government borrowing.

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