IMF, GoL’s Inflation Rates Clash

MONROVIA-The issues of transparency, accountability and truth-telling in any given society is said to be the engine, fuel, and driving force for development.

Not only that, but it also helps to create and build trust and confidence in the leadership of any given group of people by those being led.

In the case of governance, the government must be fair to the citizens which is a catalyst to the sustainability of peace in a fragile society like Liberia; writes Esau J. Farr, Sr.

Recently, during President George M. Weah’s 6TH and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on January 30, 2023, the Liberian Leader told the people of Liberia and the world at large that his government brought down the inflation rate from a high 30% to a single digit of 7%.

An excerpt from the President’s January 30, 2023 SONA reads, Five years after the launch of these painstaking reforms, the results are out there for the world to see. Today, Liberia is a macroeconomic exception in the West African region. We have brought inflation down from a high of thirty (30%) percent to a single-digit rate that is now under seven (7%) percent.  We accomplished this in just under two years, making it one of the fastest rates of inflation collapse in recorded economic history.

We also stabilized the exchange rate for one of the longest periods, and we grew net international reserves to their highest level in decades. We increased domestic revenue to the highest level in Liberian history and took our national budget to its highest level as well.

We established credibility to Government’s finances; and reformed the banking sector, which had been exposed to excessive risk-taking and a high level of non-performing loans. With the increased domestic revenue generated, we undertook a series of development programs in roads, electricity, education, and health”.

But in slight contrast to the GoL’s reported reduction of inflation to 7% under or less than two years (around December or early January 2020), the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest inflation rate for Liberia stands at 8.66% in 2023.

Not only that but also an assertion by the Government of Liberia as contained in the President’s 2023 SONA that she (the government) dropped the inflation rate from a high 30% in Liberia when the CDC government took over the affairs of the country grossly contradicting as IMF’s inflation rate in Liberia as of 2017 stood at 12.44%.

Such misinformation to the public seems not healthy for the country’s economic growth as development partners act on facts and not presumptive assumptions in stratified data analysis.

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