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Overview

Political Overview

The National Elections Commission (NEC) is set to conduct the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections. NEC has certified 46 political parties and some independents to participate in the October 10 Presidential and Legislative Elections. There are 20 presidential candidates vying for the highest office, 100 senatorial contestants targeting 15 vacant seats and nearly 900 contestants for the 73 vacancies in the House of Representatives.  

NEC is currently deploying elections materials in the 15 counties and President George M. Weah committed his administration to ensuring a free, fair, and peaceful elections. He appealed to the youth to shun political violence. All political actors recently signed the Farmington River Declaration committing themselves to Peaceful Elections and Judicial Resolution of Election Disputes in Liberia.

Parliament made an amendment to the Liberia Anti-corruption law. Key changes to the law include granting the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) the autonomy to prosecute suspects and the introduction of a more transparent and inclusive process of appointing new LACC leadership. LACC commissioners were nominated and confirmed by parliament. They have commenced work.

Economic Overview

Liberia’s economy expanded by 4.8% in 2022 despite global headwinds from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, high global inflation, and depressed demand in advanced economies. The expansion was driven by mining and a relatively good agricultural harvest. Growth in the agricultural sector accelerated to 5.9%, from 3.3% in 2021, on the back of increased rice and cassava production. Industrial output grew by 10.4% in 2022 largely driven by increased gold production. Growth in services slowed to 2.8 %, from 3.0% in 2021, reflecting a slowdown in construction services and hospitality.

Despite the pressure from global fuel and food prices, inflation remained contained in 2022. Even as headline inflation increased from 5.5% in December 2021 to 9.2% in December 2022, annual average inflation slowed to 7.6% in 2022, down from 7.8% in 2021. Food prices declined by 1.6% thanks to relatively good agriculture harvests, whereas non-food inflation reached 10.6%, primarily due to energy prices.

The government’s fiscal position worsened in 2022. The deficit is estimated to have risen to 5.6% of GDP in 2022, up from 2.4% in 2021. This was partly a reflection of the change in IDA lending policy (specifically the decline in grants) and lower-than-expected royalties from iron ore due to delayed expansion of the Arcelor Mittal mining project, expenditure overruns on goods and services, transfers, and subsidies. With a debt-to-GDP ratio of 53.4 Liberia is assessed to be at moderate risk of external debt distress and high risk of overall debt distress.

Liberia's current account balance remained high in 2022, despite booming gold exports. With the higher global prices for food and fuel (of which Liberia is a net importer), the current account deficit improved only slightly to 17.7% of GDP, down from 17.8% in 2021. The improvement in the current account balance was mainly due to an improvement in trade. The trade balance improved from a deficit of 13.1% of GDP in 2021 to 11.8% driven largely by higher volumes and export prices of gold. Despite robust foreign direct investment (7.4% of GDP in 2022), the financing of the current account deficit was challenging as disbursements in project grants and loans decreased.

The economy is projected to grow by 4.5% in 2023, driven by continued expansion in mining and reforms in pivotal sectors like energy, transportation, trade, and financial services. The growth of ongoing mining projects, coupled with enhanced access to affordable energy and roads, is set to fuel output across diverse economic sectors. Inflation is projected to increase to 10.4% in 2023 influenced by a domestic currency depreciation and escalated food prices before gradually moderating to 5.5% by 2025 in line with the global projection of energy and food prices. 

Last Updated: Oct 06, 2023

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LENDING

Liberia: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments
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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
German Embassy Compound
Tubman Boulevard, Oldest Congo Town
Monrovia, Liberia
+231-88-6-531-407
For general information and inquiries
Michael Nyumah Sahr
External Affairs Officer
+231-88-6-606-967
For project-related issues and complaints