Supported by the expanding mining and extractive sector, real GDP growth (including iron ore) leapt from 6% in 2011 to 16.7% in 2012 but is projected to slow down to a more sustainable rate of 7.2 % in 2013. It is projected to rise to 12.1% in 2014 mainly on account of the expected commencement of new iron ore projects and improvements in infrastructure.
The economic expansion has also been strengthened in 2012 by a robust growth of agricultural production (particularly crop production) and high international prices for diamonds and aluminium, Sierra Leone’s major exports. Real GDP growth depends on weather conditions and is likely to be dampened by power distribution that continues to be inefficient and poor infrastructure linking mines to port facilities (despite some improvements). Sustainability of real GDP growth will also depend on governance and good management of the new iron ore projects’ revenues.