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As Inflation soars to 18 percent…

IMF predicts economy to slowdown to 5.6 percent

October 2, 2017 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by John Wakeman-Linn has said that Sierra Leone’s economy is estimated to slow down to 5.6 percent in 2017, from 6.3 percent in 2016, mainly on account of reduced activities in the non-mining sector.

In a press release issued on the preliminary findings from the IMF staff visit to the country, Mr. Wakeman-Linn said the government’s 2017 budget needs to address lower than budgeted revenue and a short fall in donor receipts.

“Sierra Leone’s economy is estimated to slow down to 5.6 percent in 2017, from 6.3 percent in 2016, mainly on account of reduced activities in the non-mining sector. Inflation rose to 18 percent in August. The government budget for 2017 will need to address lower than budgeted revenue, and a shortfall in donor receipts,” Mr. Wakeman-Linn said.

The head of the group said the current account deficit was expected to widen to 21.5 percent of GDP and that mitigating the impact of floods and mudslides which occurred in Freetown in mid-August will be a major focus of government policy.

According to the release, the mission and authorities reached a common understanding of the challenges and risks associated with macro-economic performance for the rest of 2017, adding that some progress has been made in discussions on how to address anomalies.

The team said discussions were underway to complete the review in the coming weeks, including the upcoming Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

The two-week long visit in Freetown to conduct the first review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) ended last weekend with staff expected to prepare a report that, subject to management approval, would be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for further discussion and decision.

The ECF is a lending arrangement that provides sustained programme engagement over the medium to long-term in case of protracted balance of payments problems.