Business News of Thursday, 21 December 2017
Latest figures released by the Ghana Statistical Service show that Ghana’s economy continues to be led by the oil sector.
A development, some economists have warned could have dire implications for the country’s future if not checked.
For the third quarter this year, the Ghana Statistical Service stated that oil contributed largely to the growth in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which stood at 9.3%.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service, between July and September 2017, the value of all goods and services produced in the country, including oil; amounted to 56.1 billion cedis.
This is up from the 45.4 billion cedis recorded in the same period in 2016.
But for the same period, the value of all goods and services produced without oil amounted to 53.1 billion cedis, also representing an upward growth compared to the 44.4 billion cedis recorded in the same period in 2016.
Oil drives industry’s growth
A further breakdown shows that industry comprising mining and quarrying, water and sewerage as well as manufacturing, grew highest between July and September this year.
The sector grew by 16.6 percent.
Even though the mining and quarrying subsector’s growth decreased to 40.8 percent, it still led industry’s growth.
The Acting Government Statistician, Mr. Baah Wadieh explained the role of oil in the growth.
“We had oil and gas growing by 72.2% and that was due mainly to the increase in production from the TEN and Sankofa oilfields and as a result, we recorded the high growth rate,” he said.
Already institutions like the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) have urged government to be tough in claiming its due from oil producers who flout the nation’s rules.
In ACEP’s view, the move should provide a fall back plan as the oil resources could get exhausted by the next eight years.
Fisheries sector boosts Agric’s growth
Again, the agricultural sector grew by 10 percent between July and August this year, up from the 3.4 percent growth recorded in the previous quarter spanning April to June.
This growth has largely been triggered by the significant growth in fishing subsector.
This comes despite concerns of a dwindling fish industry due to low fish catch.
A situation the Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye had equally lamented in an interview in September this year.
But according to the Statistical Service, the country recorded a rather positive outlook between July and September this year.
“According to the figures that we received from the Ministry of Fisheries, there was expansion in the actual volume catch of fish during this year and this is seasonal when it is traced from the previous figures that they send us. It is observed that around the third quarter, there is increased catch,” the Acting Government Statistician, Baah Wadieh explained.
Services sector lags in growth
Interestingly, the services sector this time around recorded the least growth of 5.7%.
For instance, the finance and insurance subsectors recorded a negative growth of 4.1 percent, compared to the 1.3 percent recorded in the same period last year.
It is unclear what led to this but some have attributed the development to the non-performing loans among commercial banks which continue to impact on their operations.