Credit, inflation major challenges to Ghana industries

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Business Barometer Indicator report for the fourth quarter of 2009 has revealed that cost of credit, recurrence of inflation and access to credit have continued to be ranked as the topmost challenges facing industries.

The Business Barometer Indicator (BBI) is a statistical means of assessing situations and expectations of the business environment.

The report released on Monday further cited high cost of energy and power fluctuation, high level of taxation, depreciation of the cedi, competition of imported goods and low purchasing power as problems militating against industries in the country.

These problems ran through 2009 in sectors such as manufacturing, service, agriculture and construction.

According to Nana Owusu-Afari, President of AGI, some of the problems creeping in were delays in government payment, unfairness in the award of contracts, the lack of ready market equipment as well as technical expertise.

Nana Owusu-Afari said business expectations of the fourth quarter did not differ so much from the third quarter.

He said 81 per cent of respondents in the fourth quarter expected the business environment to be better, compared with 83 per cent of those who took part in the third quarter.

“This could be attributed to the macroeconomic stability experienced in the country over the last four months,” the AGI President said.

He said an overview of the Ghanaian economy revealed a modest macro-economic stability achieved in the third quarter, stressing that it was sustained in the fourth quarter.

“The Bank of Ghana prime rate declined from 18.5 per cent in September 2009 to 18 per cent in November 2009, but base rates of commercial banks remained unchanged over the period under review.”

The AGI President lauded the performance of security personnel noting that crime rate recorded in the third quarter had declined drastically among the business community.

According to him, members would not relent in their efforts to engage stakeholders such as government and financial institutions over AGI’s major challenges to ensure that they were addressed.

This, he said, would go a long way to build a solid business climate for growing and existing businesses.

Source: GNA

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