The State of the Economy brings chills to the spines. While the finance ministry, parastatals and “die-hearted” supporters across the political spectrum divert the attention of the eligible voting masses and citizenry away from the country’s economic crisis, the world food programme (WFP) in a damning report highlights the state of Sierra Leone’s economic health with its resultant effect on livelihood across the country.
The report, produced quarterly and named Quarterly Market Bulletin, seeks to monitor Sierra Leone’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates, currency exchange, trends in consumer price index, departmental GDP composition and approaches including summaries for commodity price trends while highlighting macro-economic developments owing from micro-economic contributions.
Referring to WFP’s Quarterly Market Bulletin, inflation is at its highest ever rate with the Leones depreciating faster by the day against the US dollar talk less of the British Pounds and the Euro. The report highlights in comparison on the same time last year, that “the recent figure represents a value depreciation of 40.7% from 10,477 SLL in September 2021. Currently, the dollar trades to the Leones at 17,890.023 according to XE Forex rates locked in.
On the issue of fuel such as Gasoline, Diesel and Kerosine, which influences the prices of commodities and other economic functions, the third quarterly market report 2022 indicates an increase in the average price of 20.83 (19,333 SLL) percentage points compared to previous quarter’s that relates it to 16,000 SLL.
Referring verbatim from excerpts of the bulletin, the report, delineates “price of palm oil, a commodity often used in preparation of Sierra Leonean households’ meals increased by 13.52% followed by locally produced rice and cassava with price increases of 9.31% and 9.06% respectively from their price levels in August 2022”.
Quite frankly, it is evidenced there is a decline in the economy of Sierra Leone even though the GDP forecast growth of 3.8% is purported all things being equal with the global market and Ukraine-Russia War. In the current sphere of uncertainty in the global economy, realistic approaches with cuts within government parastatals and in tax levy is inevitable if the world trend continues. A radical approach is necessary to save livelihoods.
Just in case this was not “melodying” home, report explains “September Annual Consumer Inflation Rate in Sierra Leone was announced at 29.10% (YoY), slightly higher than the quarterly inflation rate of 28.9% for Q3, 2022 continuing the upwards trends from the previous two quarters of this year”. Therefore, cost of living is a concern and a hungry man is an angry man.