Ghana’s Ministry of Finance and Economic planning has published the key economic indicators for the 2018 fiscal year touting a sharp numerical improvements over similar indicators of the 2016 fiscal year.
Leading all indicators is the deficit, which has been more than halved from 9.3% in 2016 to 4.5% in 2018 suggesting a trend which could lead to a balanced budget by 2021. Another key indicator that saw significant improvement is GDP growth recording a 6.8% growth in 2018 over 3.7% in 2016. Non-oil growth rate was 5.4% in 2018 over 4.6% in 2016, which was slower than expected considering the focus of the Akufo-Addo administration on diversifying the economy.
Debt to GDP ration recorded an 8.6 percentage point drop from 73% in 2016 to 64.4% in 2018 indicating a borrow-for-growth approach to managing the economy. Treasury Bills return has dropped 3.3 percentage points to 13.8% from a 2016 rate of 16.8%, and inflation is holding steady at 9.9% versus 15.4% in 2016.
At first glance at the improved numbers, the question begging to be asked is where are the numbers on the exchange rate of the Cedi? But be reminded that the Cedi’s dramatic depreciation occurred in 2019 and as such is not factored in the 2018 economic indicators. Thus, it remains to be seen how the drop in the Cedi’s value against the dollar would impact the key economic indicators of 2019.
Frank Boakye – DNT Business News.