Experts are divided on the prospects of Ghana’s economic growth in 2018, as conflicting projections keep coming out from various quarters.
In its 2018 fiscal policy, the government had projected to achieve a 6.8 percentage growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The 16-month-old government led by Nana Akufo-Addo has been achieving some remarkable successes in the fight to maintain fiscal discipline.
Provisional data on government operations indicated an overall budget deficit of 6.0 percent of GDP in 2017 against the target of 6.3 percent. Also, total public debt declined from 73.1 percent of GDP in December 2016 to 69.8 percent of GDP while inflation rate declined to 10.4 percent in March, relative to the 12.6 percent last December.
Some analysts were therefore hopeful that the West African gold, cocoa and oil exporter was going to achieve the fastest growing economy in the world once again in 2018.
A New York Times report said in March: “Projections currently suggest that Ghana’s economy will grow from between 8.3 and 8.9 percent in 2018. We took a look at the macroeconomic situation of the Ghanaian economy and suggested that the country was set to get back on track following a tough year in 2016; the reality is that this estimate may have been too conservative.”
Situations, however, overtook projections when the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) released its preliminary projections to indicate that the Ghanaian economy had grown 8.5 percent last year, relative to the 3.7 percent growth recorded in 2016.
Albert Zeufack, World Bank’s Chief Economist for the African Region, lauded Ghana for the economic growth figure of 8.5 percent achieved last year as well as the significant reduction in fiscal deficit to about 6 percent from above 9.0 percent recorded a year earlier.
However, since the growth was mainly due to increased production in oil and improving prices of commodities on the world stage, Zeufack urged Ghana to accelerate the process of value addition to its primary export products to be able to sustain the growth momentum.