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Election “Key Risk” To Projected 3.2 % Growth In 2017 RGDP
By Joseph Toe
MONROVIA, April 4 (LINA) - The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has projected a 3.2 percent growth in the Real Gross Domestic Product (RGDP) in 2017, but the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming Presidential and General Elections will be a “key risk” factor, a CBL report has said.
Although the bank’s 2016 annual report released recently indicated that the growth is expected to be driven by all major sectors of the economy, other key risks will include further decline in the global market prices of iron ore and rubber, delay in planned investments and infrastructural challenges.
The report stated that the RGDP growth of the economy was estimated at negative 0.5 in 2016, adding that the projected contraction in real GDP was a result of the respective declines in all of the major sectors, except the agricultural and fisheries sectors.
According to the report, the annual inflation in 2016 was 8.8 percent from 7.7 percent recorded at the end of 2015.
The report then attributed the 1.0 percentage point rise in inflation to the depreciation of the Liberian dollar last year.
From US$896.4 million recorded in 2015, the report continued, the RGDP was estimated at US$891.9 at the end of 2016.
The report noted that the estimated contraction in real GDP was attributed to the respective declines in forestry, mining and panning, manufacturing and services.
The report stated that forestry went from 2.0 percent in 2015 to negative 7.0 percent; mining and panning went from negative 15.9 percent in 2015 to negative 23.8 percent, manufacturing went from negative 1.5 percent in 2015 to negative 4.9 and services from 4.3 percent in 2015 to negative 3.9 percent in 2016.
According to the report, the agriculture and fisheries sector grew by an estimated 6.4 percent from 0.7 percent in 2015, mainly on account of the growth in rice and cassava production along with the production of oil palm which is a result of ongoing efforts to boost export diversification.