LIBERIA: CBL Governor Underscores Stronger Measures To Curb Inflation

(LINA) – The Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Nathaniel Patray, has highlighted the need to ensure tangible measures to address the issue of inflation in the country.

The recent World Bank Africa’s Pulse report for April 2019 named Liberia among six countries facing unchanged double-digits inflation rates.

Addressing the Ministry of Information regular press conference Thursday in Monrovia, Patray stated that Liberia’s inflation is mainly caused by the indiscipline behavior exhibited by some market actors, adding that there are lots of players in the market that determine the movement of the economy.

Patray lamented that these players in the market are involved in indiscipline activities that negatively impact the economy that further cast burden on the CBL and the Government as a whole.

He stressed that inflation occurs when market actors are doing things that are not supportive of stability in the market, stating that such unscrupulous behaviors only benefit few actors in the economy.

“Volatility is often driven by factors that do not bode well for stability in the market. In his case we allow the exchange rate to move whenever it is driven by supply and demand for foreign exchange in the market,” Patray noted.

He added: “There will always be movement in the market. You do not expect prices to come down and stay down forever neither for prices to go up and stay up forever, what goes up must come down. So we are expecting it (prices) to come down, “ Patray said.

However, the CBL official pointed out that in order for prices to come down the government needs to institute measures and programs that will ensure that prices come down.

He asserted that regulation is not enough to address the current economic situation the country is faced with, citing that regulating the market will help to some degree but will not address the issue in its totality, but rather policies that will ensure stability in the market and bring normalcy to the economy.

Patray indicated that the current inflationary situation of Liberia cannot be fully addressed by liquidating the economy with cash but can rather be addressed by increasing agricultural production in the economy.

He disclosed that the Government was able to stabilize inflation in the past few months which, according to him, was created as a result of bad administrative practices carried out by previous governments.

“We do not read in the newspapers what happened in the past, but all we read in the papers is what is happening now,” he pointed out.

The CBL official cautioned journalists to contact the requisite institutions whenever there is a need to get a broad understanding about issues in the economy, noting: “If you want to know about monetary policy, inflation, exchange rate come to the bank.”

Patray called on journalists to abreast themselves with other disciplines which, according to him, will enable them to analyze and interpret information for the larger populace.

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