Ghana’s 2011 trade deficit is $2.6b, total public debt now 43.9% of GDP

Data provided by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) shows that the country’s trade deficit now stands at $2.6 billion for the first eleven months of 2011.

The deficit was $2.4 billion during the corresponding period in 2010, according to the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee statement issued December 21, 2011.

“The balance of trade data shows a provisional deficit of $2.6 billion for the first eleven months of 2011 compared with $2.4 billion for the corresponding period in 2010,” it said.

Ghana, during the period, imported $14.4 billion value of merchandises representing an annual growth of 49.9% compared to $11.8 billion of total merchandise exports representing a growth of 64.7%.

“Total merchandise exports increased to $11.8 billion in 2011, representing a growth of 64.7% over the value for the same period in 2010. Total merchandise imports since the beginning of 2011 amounted to $14.4 billion, representing an annual growth of 49.9%,” said Governor Kwesi Amissah-Arthur at a news conference at the bank’s headquarters in Accra.

…and total public debt is GH¢23.4b

According to the BoG, provisional data on the implementation of the government budget indicates that total revenue and grants for January to November 2011 increased to GH¢9.3 billion from theGH¢6.4 billion recorded for the same period in 2010 with Customs collections comprising import duties, import VAT, Petroleum taxes and NHIL receipts amounting to GH¢3.1 billion.

Collections of income and property taxes amounted to GH¢3.1 billion, while indirect domestic tax collections of VAT and Excise Duty and NHIL amounted to GH¢1.1 billion, the bank observed. Programme grants totalled GH¢340.6 million, it added.

The statement shows that government’s total expenditure (excluding foreign financed capital expenditure) for the first eleven months of 2011 amounted to GH¢11.5 billion compared to GH¢8.2 billion in 2010. Wages and salaries and related expenditures totalled GH¢4.5 billion.

This resulted in a narrow budget deficit of GH¢2.2 billion during the period of fiscal operations.

The bank said domestic debt was GH¢11.7 billion at the end of November 2011 – increased 39.2% over the end December 2010 level while external debt stock rose by 21.7% to $7.6 billion.

“The total public debt is estimated at GH¢23.4 billion at end November 2011equivalent to 43.9% of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 37.8% of GDP at the end of 2010,” the BoG said.

By Ekow Quandzie

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