How CBL Responsible for Nation’s Pain

359

Local and international reports now show the Central Bank of Liberia is responsible for prevailing economic difficulties in the country based on its actions and policies that is biting the country’s vast poor population.

The Bank’s decision to print mass quantity of banknotes and releasing it into circulation is the chief reason behind the increase in the prices of commodities at all level and the currency crisis Liberia is enduring, the US. Sponsored Kroll report on ‘missing currency’ has suggested.

“The increase of banknotes in circulation may be a factor in the current rate of inflation in Liberia,” the report said.

“Kroll understands that the rate of inflation (as at January 31, 2019) is approximately 25%. Further, the increase of banknotes in circulation may be a factor in the rapid depreciation of the LRD exchange rate between January 2018 and July 2018.

 “Of the new banknotes printed and shipped by Crane AB for the LRD 10.0 Bn Contract, the CBL has currently injected new banknotes totaling LRD 6.387 billion into the Liberian economy without removing from circulation (and destroying) the equivalent quantity/value of legacy banknotes, potentially without Legislature approval.

This is what the Central Bank reported in its 2018 annual report about inflation. Readers should however be cautious about these figures because the Bank has this year admitted to presenting fake information.

“All major commodity groups in the CPI basket contributed to the upward trend in inflation rate during 2018 compared with 2017, except for clothing & footwear and recreation & culture while education remained flat. Inflation rates on food and non-alcoholic beverages rose to 24.9 percent (from 4.6 percent), alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics to 24.2 percent (from 16.4 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel to 27.9 percent (from 8.5 percent); furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house to 36.2 percent (from 30.3 percent); health to 20.5 percent (from negative 6.6 percent); transport to 41.9 percent (from 25.4 percent); communication to 28.9 percent (from 14.3 percent); and restaurants and hotels to 33.0 percent (from 24.8 percent). Clothing and footwear declined to 22.4 percent (from 40.1 percent) and recreation and culture to 20.8 percent (from 27.9 percent). Core inflation, which is measured by the Bank as the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) less food and transport rose to a projected 26.2 percent, from 19.2 percent for the corresponding period a year ago.