General News of Friday, 9 February 2018
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday reported that Ghana’s economy was returning to the path of progress, as critical indices were pointing to the right direction.
“The Black Star is shining again….and the world is taking notice of Ghana’s economic strides”.
Delivering the second State of the Nation’s Address in Parliament in Accra, the President stated that the country’s macro-economic fundamentals, for the first time in many years, and owing appropriate policy interventions, was on track.
The economy showed positive signs of growth in 2017, registering almost double growth over that of the previous year.
“We have reduced taxes, we are bringing down inflation and interest rates, economic growth is increasing, from the alarming 3.6% at December 2016, to 7.9% in our first year, and the indications are that, it will be even better this year,” he said.
“We have increased our international reserves, maintained relative exchange rate stability, reduced the debt to GDP ratio and the rate of debt accumulation, we have paid almost half of the arrears inherited, and, crucially, we are current on obligations to statutory funds.
“We have, nevertheless, been able to meet my promise made last year to the House, and reduced the fiscal deficit from 9.3 percent to an estimated 5.6 percent of GDP.
The annual average rate of debt accumulation, which, in recent years, has been as high as 36 percent, has declined to 13.6 percent, as at September 2017. As a result, the public debt stock as a ratio of GDP is 68.3 percent, against the annual target of 71 percent for 2017, and end 2016 actual figure of 73.1 percent.
He continued, “As a result of an appropriate policy, and the normalisation of the power situation in the country, they have also engineered a spectacular revival of Ghanaian industry, from a growth rate of -0.5 percent in 2016 to 17.7 percent in 2017,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that his administration was determined to maintain the economic milestones chalked and would put in measures that would ensure that the country stayed on that path without development assistance.
“I am also pleased to report that the 3-year IMF-supported Extended Credit Facility Programme, begun in 2015, comes to an end this year. The relatively good macroeconomic performance in 2017 will strongly support our successful completion of the IMF programme.
“We are determined to put in place measures to ensure irreversibility, and sustain macroeconomic stability so that we will have no reason to seek again the assistance of that powerful global body,” the President said.