Business News of Monday, 31 July 2017
Ghana’s economy has been said to be far worst than it was estimated in the 2017 fiscal budget.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta was at Parliament on Monday to present the mid-year fiscal policy review of the 2017 budget.
In his presentation, he quoted some macro-economic statistics which showed that the nation performed poorly than earlier reported in the budget.
He noted that though the budget presented in March this year showed a 3.6% growth of the economy, updated figures from the Ghana Statistical Service in April 2017 captured a 3.5% growth rate.
He further stated that the fiscal deficit which was reported to be 8.7 percent by the end of December 2016 was rather 9.3% of GDP.
“Mr. Speaker, on the fiscal front, updated information shows that the end-2016 fiscal deficit was worse than previously estimated, at 9.3 percent of GDP compared to the provisional figure of 8.7 percent of GDP on cash basis at the time of presenting the 2017 Budget. The deficit on commitment basis is now at 10.9 percent of GDP up from the 10.3 percent previously reported”.
The accumulated debt under the erstwhile Mahama administration, he pointed out, had hiked up by about 1,054% rising from Ghc 9.5 billion in 2008 to Ghc 122 billion in 2016.
“The debt servicing payments arising from this legacy of debt accumulation amounts to some 45 percent of total domestic revenue. Unfortunately, our economy would have to live with this burden for some time as we make efforts to repair the damage,” he stated.
According to the Finance Minister, the revised 2016 nominal GDP ratio of Ghc 167.3 billion, puts the public debt-to-GDP ratio at 73.1 percent of GDP against the 72.5 percent reported in the 2017 budget presented to Parliament earlier in March this year.