Shrunk GDP growth target of 0.9% for 2020 a product of COVID-19, says Ofori-Atta

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, says it is only the firm foundation established by the government that has saved the economy from contracting under the onslaught of COVID-19

The government says the projected real GDP growth rate for this year has been revised considerably downwards from 6.8% to 0.9% amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenting the Mid-year Budget Review in Parliament yesterday (23 July), Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said Ghana’s overall economic growth and revenue are expected to fall sharply while expenditure is expected to rise.

“The economic shock of the pandemic has manifested through external trade disruptions (particularly with China), a decline in commodity prices (particularly oil, whose prices have fallen by more than half) and tightening of global financial markets,” the Finance Minister said.

“It is only the solid foundation established by the government and the resilient buffers built by the Bank of Ghana that have saved the economy from contracting, as has happened in many countries.”

He added, “… COVID-19 has also led to disruption in corporate and general business confidence, with threats to projected revenues, profitability, liquidity and corporate growth.”

Missed target

Ofori-Atta said Ghana failed to meet its target for growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019.

The country recorded a growth rate of 6.5% in 2019, he announced, as against a target of 7.0%. This represents a 0.2% percentage point improvement on the 2018 figure of 6.3%.

The Finance Minister said this confirms that the economy has “continued with its robust performance since 2017.”

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has predicted that Ghana’s economy will slow abruptly this year. According to the EIU, GDP growth will be 3.5% in 2021, rising to 6.5% in 2022.

The EIU also forecasts that growth in national GDP will decline marginally thereafter, reaching 6.4% in 2023 and 6.3% in 2024.

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