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S’Leone’s economic output up by 20%, says IMF

The International Monetary Fund on Friday said economic output in Sierra Leone witnessed 20 per cent expansion in 2013.

The Head of IMF delegation to Sierra Leone, Mr Malangu Kabedi-Mbuyi, stated this in a report released at the end of the team’s mission.

Kabedi-Mbuyi said that the team was in Freetown between March 17 and April 1 to review Sierra Leone’s performance under programmes supported by IMF’s Extended Credit Facility arrangement.

The IMF official said the mission met with critical economic stakeholders in the country such as government officials, civil society, development partners and the business community during the exercise.

“Economic activity continued to expand robustly, mainly on account of a sharp increase in mining activity, output expanded by an estimated 20 per cent in 2013.

“Inflation also decelerated to eight and half per cent at the end of 2013, while Gross International Reserves reached three and half months of import cover,” he said.

He said that the fiscal position improved following the increased export receipts from iron ore.

“There is a strong revenue performance and expenditure restraint, the overall fiscal deficit is estimated to have narrowed to 1.9 per cent of non-iron ore GDP.

“Programme implementation remained good, at the end of December 2013, all quantitative performance criteria and quantitative indicative targets were observed,” he said.

Kabedi-Mbuyi stated that the indicative on poverty-related spending was lower than programmes due to slower-than-expected implementation of domestically financed investments.

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