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Ghana’s Debt Widens to $1.8 Billion


Ghana’s current account deficit widened to $1.8 billion for the first nine months of the year, Bank of Ghana Governor Kwesi Amissah-Arthur told reporters in the capital, Accra, today.
The shortfall compares with a $1 billion current account deficit for the same period last year. The West African nation’s gross domestic product this year is expected to be 44.8 billion cedis ($30.6 billion), 75 percent bigger than previously thought, the Statistical Service said on Nov. 5, after changing the way it measures sectors of the economy.
Economic growth slowed in 2009 after the government embarked on an austerity program to bring down the budget deficit. Ghana posted a current account deficit of about 7.9 percent of GDP last year, according to the previous data.
Amissah-Arthur said the financial and capital account for the nine months had a surplus of $1.9 billion, boosted by $1.3 billion in foreign direct investment and $550 million in portfolio investments. The financial and capital account balance had a surplus of $1 billion for the same period last year.
Ghana’s trade balance for the nine months worsened by $332 million, due mainly to increased imports, he said. Exports grew 40 percent year-on-year to $5.9 billion, while imports grew 34 percent to $8 billion.
Source: Bloomberg

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