Liberian Economy Grows to $1.11 Billion in 2012, Jones Says

Economic output in Liberia grew to $1.11 billion this year from $600 million in 2006, according to central bank Governor Joseph Mills Jones.

The country, which is recovering from 11 years of civil war that ended in 2003, has more than 10,000 registered businesses, double the number from 2006, and is planning higher budget spending for the 2012-13 fiscal year, he told lawmakers in Monrovia, the capital, today.

Jones was answering questions about the country’s depreciating currency. The Liberia dollar dropped to 76 per dollar, the lowest since at least September 2001, when Bloomberg began compiling the data, on May 30. The currency has pared the loss and traded at 73.51 per dollar today.

“Illegal money peddlers are undermining the exchange rate by posting artificial rates on the market,” he said.

Still, the country’s inflation rate is “not alarming,” he said. Inflation is expected to slow to 5.2 percent this year from 8.5 percent in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elise Zoker in Monrovia via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

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