Dr Henry Wampah, BoG Governor
Ghana’s total public debt rose to GH¢76.1 billion, representing 67.1 percent of GDP, up from GH¢51.9 billion, (55.3 percent of GDP) in 2013.
This included the stock of domestic debt which stood at GH¢34.6 billion, representing 30.5 percent of GDP at the end of 2014, up from GH¢26.7 billion (28.4 percent of GDP) in 2013.
The external debt recorded US$13 billion, (36.6 percent of GDP) at the end 2014 up from US$11.5 billion, (26.9 percent of GDP) in 2013.
Dr Henry Wampah, Governor of the Central Bank disclosed this yesterday in Accra while addressing the media as head of the Monetary Policy Committee after its meeting.
External Sector Developments
The Governor said provisional estimates for the balance of payments for 2014 recorded a deficit of US$85.2 million, a significant improvement from the US$874.2 million recorded in 2013.
This was due to a marked improvement in the current account.
‘The current account deficit narrowed by US$2.1 billion from a deficit of US$5.7 billion (11.9 percent of GDP in 2013 to US$3.6 billion, (9.2 percent of GDP) in 2014.
‘This was driven by an improvement in the trade balance. The balance on merchandise trade improved from a deficit of US$3.8 billion, (7.9 percent of GDP) in 2013 to US$1.6 billion (4.1% of GDP) at the end of 2014. The services, income and transfer account net recorded a deficit of US$2 billion in 2014 compared with a deficit of US$1.9 billion in 2013.’
He stated that the capital and financial account decreased to US$3.3 billion from US$5.4 billion in 2013, adding that it was mainly due to a US$777.2 million decrease in net inflow of official capital, a US$1.4 billion decline in short-term capital while net portfolio investments increased by US$177 million.
For the first month of 2015, the trade balance recorded a deficit of US$257.4 million compared to a deficit of US$231.9 million in January 2014.
Exports were provisionally estimated at US$900.7 million while imports were US$1.2 billion.
Gross foreign assets (defined as gross international reserves plus encumbered assets and petroleum funds) stood at US$4.9 billion at the end of January 2015, representing 2.9 months of imports, unchanged compared to the same period in 2014.
In December 2014, gross foreign assets were US$5.5 billion, equivalent to 3.2 months of imports.
The local currency
Commenting on the performance of the cedi, Dr Wampah said the cumulative depreciation of the local currency for 2014 was 31.2 percent compared to 14.5 percent in 2013, adding that in January 2015, the cedi depreciated by 1.3 percent compared to 7.8 percent depreciation a year ago.
Between January and June 2014, it depreciated by 26.7 percent but remained relatively stable during the second half, depreciating by 4.5 percent.
By Samuel Boadi
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