Minister of Finance and Development Planning Amara Konneh
Decline In Rubber, Iron Ore Prices Hurting Economy-Konneh
By Wilfred Gortor \LINA
MONROVIA, November 21 (LINA) - The Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MOFDP) has attributed the massive decline in the economy to the reduction in the prices of Liberia’s primary commodities of rubber and iron ore.
Minister Amara Konneh said the 41.2 percent decline in the price of rubber and 39.2 percent for iron ore came as the result of the economic slowdown in China and the appreciation of the United States dollar up to 2.5 percent.
Minister Konneh made the statement at the Ministry of Information regular press conference held at the ministry Thursday in Monrovia.
Konneh noted that in 2013 the price of rubber was US$126.8 per pound but reduced in 2014 to US$74.6, while a metric ton of iron ore which sold for US$135.4 in 2013, dropped to US$82.3 in fiscal year 2014.
“The massive decrease in the price of the country’s primary commodities has resulted in a 31 percent and 81 percent decrease in export earnings from rubber and iron ore respectively,” Konneh indicated.
He added that Liberia’s average inflation rate which was 7.6 percent in 2013 is projected at 11.4 percent for 2014, while at the end of 2014, the inflation rate which was 8.5 percent in 2013, is projected at 14.7 percent.
Meanwhile, Minister Konneh has indicated that it will require economic discipline as well as budgetary support through grants and loans for Liberia to finance the budget deficit occasioned by the shrink in the nation’s economy.