Finance Minister updates Parliament on macroeconomic developments in 2017

– Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance on Thursday, said provisional data released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in April 2018 showed that the overall real GDP growth (including oil) was 8.5 per cent for 2017.

This, he said, represented an increase from the original projection of 6.3 per cent, and the 3.7 per cent growth recorded in 2016.

Mr Ofori-Atta gave the statistics in his Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the 2018 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented to Parliament in Accra, on Thursday.

Giving an overview of recent macroeconomic development, he said Industry was the best growth performer in 2017, recording a growth of 16.7 per cent, which was driven primarily by increased crude oil production, and this was followed by Agriculture with a growth of 8.4 per cent, and Services with an outturn of 4.3 per cent.

He said the non-oil real GDP, however, grew by 4.9 per cent in 2017, compared with 5.0 per cent in 2016.

The Finance Minister however explained that the strong growth recorded in 2017 was largely on account of a strong performance of the petroleum subsector, which grew by 8.4 per cent, compared with a contraction of 16.9 per cent in 2016.

The Services Sector, he said though remained dominant, its share of GDP declined slightly from 56.8 per cent in 2016 to 56.2 per cent in 2017, while that of Agriculture also reduced from 18.9 to 18.5 per cent respectively.

Mr Ofori-Atta attributed the performance of the annual GDP to robust quarterly growth in 2017, saying that, in the first quarter of the same year, GDP grew by 6.7 per cent year-on-year basis, registering a further growth of 9.4 and 9.7 per cent in the second and third quarters respectively, but recorded a drop by the fourth quarter to register 8.1 per cent.

The Finance Minister also explained that headline inflation declined from 15.4 per cent in December 2016 to 11.8 per cent in December 2017, saying that, this was supported by appreciable fiscal consolidation, the monetary policy tightening over the past years, relative stability of the exchange rate for most of 2017, as well as the easing of underlying inflation pressures.

The slowdown in inflation was driven by both food and non-food inflation, he said.

He explained that the Food inflation declined to 8.0 per cent in December 2017, from 9.7 per cent in December 2016, driven largely by domestic food components.

Similarly, non-food inflation declined from 18.2 per cent in December 2016 to 13.6 per cent in December 2017, supported by the relative stability in the domestic currency and favourable base effects, he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency