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Gambia’s economic growth outlook remains favourable, says CBG Governor

The CBG Governor Bakary Jammeh flanked by his two deputies holding a portrait of country's new Banknotes due for circulation in two months.

Governor Bakary Jammeh told journalists on Thursday that the biggest risk to the country’s economy is its rising public debt.

The CBG Governor Bakary Jammeh flanked by his two deputies holding a portrait of country’s new Banknotes due for circulation in two months.

The growth outlook of Gambia’s economy remain favorable, said the governor of the Central Bank on Thursday.

Speaking to the media following the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Meeting, Governor Bakary Jammeh said the economy has strongly rebounded in 2018.

“Early economic indicators show that growth will remain robust in 2019,” said Jammeh.

Jammeh said the country’s economic recovery is aided by the performance of mainly tourism, trade and agriculture industries.

“The external position of The Gambia continues to improve, thanks to the support from our development partners, and increases in remittances, tourism and foreign direct investment,” said Jammeh.

“Preliminary balance of payments estimates indicate that the current account balance registered a surplus of US$4.1 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to a deficit of US$7.3 million in the corresponding quarter in 2018.”

But despite the positive outlook, the Governor said the biggest risk to growth is rising public debt.

Gambia’s public debt is currently at 88%, debt to GPD ratio and it is one of the countries considered by International Monetary Fund to be in debt distress.

Jammeh said the two major challenges facing the country is to sustain the 6% growth rate for a longer time and manage it public debt.

Gambia is already in talks with its international creditors for debt restructuring and relief, according to finance minister Mambury Njie.

However, the country’s domestic debt is more than 50% of its overall debt profile. As of May 2019, the domestic increased to D31.8 billion from D31.2 billion from May last year.

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