Salone debt and services payments affected the current account deficit

Sierra Leone’s external sector performance, has remained feeble reflecting weak exports and sluggish donor inflows. “The current account deficit widened to 13.8 percent of GDP from 10.9 percent in the previous year, due mainly to the increase in the trade deficit as well as debt service payments and payments for services especially for transportation (air and sea), communication and insurance” this is according to the World Bank report on the country’s economy. The trade deficit increased slightly by 0.1 percentage points of GDP to 14.6 percent of GDP in 2018, due largely to the sharp reduction in exports that was not totally offset by the large drop in imports. Total merchandise exports declined sharply by 2.0 percentage points of GDP to 15.5 percent of GDP (US$602.8 million) in 2018, due mainly to the reduction of mineral exports. Total mineral exports declined by 17.1 percent in 2018 due to the collapse of iron ore exports, as the main ore mining company ceased operations early in 2018.

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