GDP growth up in first quarter to 6.6 per cent – Minister

Accra, The overall real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth year-on-year for the first quarter of 2017 was 6.6 per cent, an increase from the 4.4 per cent registered for the same quarter of 2016.

The Industry sector recorded the highest and impressive growth of 11.5 per cent, up from 1.8 per cent in the same quarter of 2016.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance, delivering the Mid-year Fiscal Policy Review of the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament, said the Agriculture sector recorded a growth of 7.6 per cent, compared with 5.0 per cent recorded over the same period in 2016.

He said the Services Sector recorded a modest growth of 3.7 per cent, compared with 6.6 per cent in the same period of 2016.

The performance in the Industry Sector was largely driven by the Mining and Quarrying (which includes Petroleum) sub-sector, which had contracted over the corresponding period in 2016, he explained.

He said underpinning the year-on-year improvement in Agriculture was a strong growth performance in Crops and Cocoa, and a substantially improved performance in the Fisheries sub-sector.

Mr Ofori-Atta, however, said the year-on-year slowdown in growth of the Services sector reflected a corresponding slowdown in growth of the key subsectors of Information and Communication, and Finance and Insurance.

He said in nominal terms, the first quarter 2017 GDP at current prices was GH44.7 billion, compared with GH36.5 billion for the corresponding period in 2016.

In real terms, these translate into GH8.6 billion and GH8.0 billion for the first quarter 2017 and 2016 respectively, he said.

On inflation, the Minister said the headline inflation consistently declined from 15.4 per cent in December 2016 to 12.1 per cent in June 2017.

He said the consecutive decline in inflation during the period was broad-based with food and non-food inflation declining.

Food inflation went down from 9.7 per cent in December 2016 to 6.2 per cent in June 2017, while non-food inflation declined from 18.2 per cent to 15.1 per cent over the same period.

He said the observed disinflation process was influenced largely by monetary policy tightness, fiscal discipline and stability in the exchange rate.

Source: Ghana News Agency