Ghana's economy recorded 9.3% growth in last quarter of 2017

By Maame Aba Afful
9.3% economic growth recorded in last quarter

A 2018 report by the Bloomberg Guide to the Ghanaian economy has revealed the economy grew 9.3 percent in the third quarter of last year as oil production increased.

It said the growth, if sustained, would mark a turnaround for the country.

The Daily Graphic gathered from the Ministry of Finance that oil revenue for the last quarter of 2017 amounted to $161.98 million.

Meanwhile, Ghana has been under an IMF programme since 2015 and growth plummeted to the lowest in more than a quarter of a century in 2016 as it enacted austerity measures.

2018 Budget projections

The Bloomberg Report compares with growth figures released in the 2018 budget and economic policy of the government.

Provisional data on the performance of the economy from January to September 2017 showed that nearly all the macroeconomic indicators were on target.

For instance, overall real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an estimated 7.8 per cent in the first half of 2017 (6.6 per cent in quarter one and 9.0 per cent in quarter two), against 2.7 per cent in the same period in 2016.

Overall GDP growth was provisionally estimated at 7.9 per cent at the end of 2017, up from the original forecast of 6.3 per cent, while non-oil real GDP grew at an estimated 4.0 per cent in the
first half year of 2017 (4.0 per cent in quarter one and 3.9 per cent in quarter two), compared with 5.9 per cent in the same period in 2016.

Non-oil GDP growth was provisionally estimated at 4.8 per cent at the end of 2017.

The overall budget deficit on cash basis was 4.5 per cent of GDP in September 2017, against a target of 4.8 per cent of GDP and an outturn of 6.4 per cent in the same period in 2016.

The primary balance posted a surplus of 0.3 per cent of GDP in September 2017, as targeted, and was a significant improvement over the deficit of 1.6 percent realized during the same period in 2016.

Government plans

Reacting to the report, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr Yofi Grant, told the Daily Graphic that “the government’s plan is to ensure sustainable growth and a direction of irreversibility in management of the public purse”.

According to him, that would include ensuring value for money expenditure and making sure that businesses made money and helped to grow the economy.

Mr Grant said: “Sustainable partnerships between foreign direct investments (FDIs) and indigenous enterprise will be a priority in expanding the economy and creating jobs nationwide”.

He admitted, however, that “there still will be issues, but the real comfort is that they will be tackled with a focused and pragmatic approach that will ensure that some of the problems do not recur”.

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