Debt-to-GDP ratio down to 76.6% on improved economic growth figures

The GSS says this is against the 4.3% growth seen in the similar period of 2020, with non-oil real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2021, rising by 7.6% compared to 5.7% for the same period in 2020

Following the higher-than-projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures announced by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), key economic indicators which are expressed as a ratio of GDP will be adjusted accordingly, the Ministry of Finance has announced.

The GSS, in its provisional 2021 fourth quarter and overall 2021 annual GDP data, which was released on April 20, 2022, showed that real GDP recorded a 7% appreciation in the final quarter of 2021.

This is against the 4.3% growth seen in the similar period of 2020, with non-oil real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2021, rising by 7.6% compared to 5.7% for the same period in 2020.

Consequently, the Ministry of Finance, in a communique said the nation’s debt-to-GDP ratio has been revised downward from 80.1% to 76.6% for 2021. For 2020, the stock has also been amended from 76.1% to 74.4%, a development the fiscal authority says is further confirmation that the rate of debt accumulation has slowed to pre-pandemic levels.

Similarly, the fiscal deficit including energy and financial sector payments has seen a marginal drop to 11.4% from 11.7% in 2021. In 2020, however, this ratio declined from 15% to 14.7%, the ministry indicated.

Consequently, the ministry announced that it will update its debt sustainability analysis (DSA) and revise its projections for the 2022 fiscal year and the medium term to reflect the 2021 results as well as recent debt-sustainability and fiscal responsibility policy initiatives.

“These developments are positive and confirm the fact that the economy is rebounding COVID-19 era, the rate of debt is tapering off, and there is a fiscal expansion with Ghana on track to return to the Fiscal Responsibility Act threshold of 5% of GDP by 2024,” the ministry said in a statement.

Growth figures

The GSS indicated that on an annual basis, the provisional real GDP growth for 2021 outpaced the revised projected figure of 4.4% 2021 by one percentage point, as it ended the year at 5.4% and was 0.9 percentage points higher than the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) average, ensuring that only 10 countries on the continent performed better.

Per the GSS data, the nominal GDP for 2021 was estimated at GHC459.1billion, over GHC18 billion more than the projected outturn of Ghc440.8 billion for the period, up from GHC391.9billion recorded in 2020.

The non-oil nominal GDP for 2021 is GHC437.9 billion, up from GHC378.1 billion in 2020. Also, non-oil real GDP expanded from 1% in 2020 to 6.9% in 2021, exceeding the target of 5.9% for the period.

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Nicholas Brown

I am a multi-media journo with Asaase Radio. I tell stories that shape the difficulties of life. Let's talk about anything acting, stage direction and making an impact.

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