Ghana’s growth rate for 2008 was 6.2%

Dr. Grace Bediako - Government Statistician

Growth rate for the Ghanaian economy for the 2008 fiscal year has now been pegged at a modest 6.2%, as opposed to the September 2008 projection that pegged it at 6.7%.

Available data through April and projections up to September 2008 had earlier indicated a provisional growth rate of 6.3% for 2008 against government’s target of 7.0%.

In an interview with this reporter, the Government Statistician, Dr Grace Bediako, noted that the rate of growth had slowed in the final quarter of 2008, saying that, economic activity for the period had been dominated largely by buying and selling which added little value to growth. She indicated that manufacturing slowed in the final quarter, possibly as a result of earlier hikes in petroleum, whilst agriculture and the services sector maintained momentum.

According to her, a more comprehensive report on the economy would be out by mid-February ahead of the budget presentation. She announced her outfit’s determination to begin quarterly reviews of the economy soon. Despite seeing Ghana through years of sustained growth, the past government would without a doubt be unhappy with the country’s economic performance in the last two years of its term.

From a GDP growth rate of 3.7% in 2000, GDP shot up to 4.2% in 2001, 4.5% in 2002, and 5.2% in 2003.

The country’s economy further grew by 5.6% and 5.9% respectively in 2004 and 2005 respectively. The years of sustained growth peaked at 6.4% in 2006, after which an energy crises slowed the country’s growth rate to 6.3% in 2007.

The past government as a result missed almost all projections it had made for 2008, including the target of an end period inflation of between 6 and 8% which ended at 18.1%, accumulation of international reserves of the equivalence of at least three months which ended the year at a little over two months, and an overall budget deficit to GDP of 4.0% which stood at 13.42% by December end.

Meanwhile, the Financial Intelligence has been told that government’s economic team has hit the road in preparation for the 2009 budget expected to be presented early March. Stakeholders were due to meet at Akosombo to draft the 2009 budget after which the finalised document would be passed on to cabinet for approval.

The past government had as required by constitutional provisions, prepared preliminary estimates on behalf of the new government that was to assume office on January 7.

Source: Economic Intelligence

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