US economy recovery hurts Ghana’s gold sales – Dr Wampah

Dr Kofi Wampah - BoG GovernorThe recovery of the US economy is having a negative effect on Ghana’s gold sales, says the governor of the Bank of Ghana.

The US economy has begun to recover, a situation which is seen as good news for the global economy but not for Ghana.

According to Dr Kofi Wampah, the situation is impacting negatively on Ghana’s gold sales as world market price for the commodity worsens.

“For us in Ghana, the recovery in the US economy for example, which should normally be good news, is rather impacting negatively on us; with the worsening of the world market price of gold,” Dr Wampah said at a West African central banks governors meeting in Accra July 25, 2013.

Gold is one of Ghana’s main foreign exchange earners aside cocoa and oil. The country produced about 4.2 million ounces of gold in 2012, according to the Minerals Commission.

Ghana exported $1.5 billion worth of the commodity during the first quarter of 2013, says the Bank of Ghana.

Gold is said to be accounting for over 35% of Ghana’s total exports. The world market price of the commodity earlier this week fell to $1330 per ounce.

Aside the US recovery, Dr Wampah noted that uncertainty continues to weigh heavily on Ghana’s outlook as downside risks increase, emanating from the continuing global economic crises.

The governor admitted that the year 2012 was a challenging one for Ghana due “partly to political elections and also the downward trend in prices of our major export commodities.”

These together exerted significant pressures on the domestic currency from the beginning of the year, Dr Wampah added.

But the Ghana government has taken some measures to ease the pressures on the economy.

“We had to take critical measures to bring inflation and exchange rate volatility under control,” said Wampah.

Although the recent upward adjustment of domestic prices of petroleum products and the possible hike in utility prices pose upside risks to the country’s inflation forecast for 2013, Dr Wampah assured that “we are determined to get inflation returned to single digits by the end of the year”.

By Ekow Quandzie

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