General News of Friday, 21 July 2017
The total public debt for the country as at May this year has reached ¢137 billion putting the debt-to-GDP ratio at 67.5%, a summary of economic and financial data released by the Bank of Ghana has revealed.
This was at the end of the Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting to review the health of economy over the past three months.
The report showed that the debt stock increased by ¢9.4 billion in three months from ¢127.8 billion to ¢137.2 billion.
It is not clear for now whether the increase was caused by fresh borrowing by government, the cedis’ depreciation or some commitment that government had to deal with.
External debt accounted for $17.1 billion, while domestic debt stood at almost ¢63.9 billion. The ¢137 billion debt stock or public debt for May ending was more than the ¢105 billion recorded in the same period for last year.
Government borrowings for this year
Government was planning to raise almost ¢57 billion through bonds and Treasury bills. This is the total amount that the state should realize if government is able to raise all the amount targeted in its issuance calendar for bonds and treasury bills for the first three-quarters of this year.
In the first quarter of this year, government is said to have raised ¢17.4 billion with ¢22.2 billion raised in the second quarter. It is also planning to raise ¢17.4 billion from July to September this year.
Forty-three cedis of the amount are for roll over maturities, while the remaining would be used to finance government’s own projects.
More details on the economic data
Despite the troubling debt numbers, there are some figures from Merchandise Exports to smile about. Total earnings from exports as at May stood at $7.1 billion which went up from $6.5 billion recorded in the same period for 2016.
Also, the traditional exports brought in more than what the country got in May 2016.
Gold brought in a little over $3 billion. The state got a little over $1.7 billion from cocoa export, while oil exports stood at $1.2 billion.
Expenditure on Imports
The summary of Economic data showed that government spent $5.7 billion on the country’s total imports for the first five months of this year.
Oil accounted for $733 million, while non-oil imports stood at $4.9 billion.
Developments in the banking sector
Loans that banks fear might not be paid or go bad, was still a major problem in the banking sector.
The data showed that banking industry’ non-performing loans went up from 19.3% as at May, 2016 to 21.7% in May 2017.
Total Assets in the banking sector stood at ¢84.1 billion, representing a 27.3% growth.
Total deposits also went up by 24.5 percent to ¢53.2 billion. Loan advances stood at ¢36.5 billion after a 16.4 percent growth compared to May 2016.