SONA 2019: GDP Growth Highest Globally – Prez

SONA 2019

Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has picked up in the last two years from 3.4 per cent in 2016 to 8.1 per cent in 2017.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who made this known Thursday in Parliament said the trend was projected to increase as the 2018 provisional data for the first three quarters indicated strong GDP growth of 6 per cent, higher than the target of 5.6 per cent.

“Real GDP growth for 2019 is forecasted at 7.6 per cent. Ghana’s recent GDP growth has placed amongst the highest in the word,” he said.

According to him, Ghana’s fiscal deficit was being brought down from the 7.3 rebased GDP in 2016 to a provisional 3.9 per cent of GDP by the end of 2018.

“The debt to GDP ratio has declined from 56.6 of GDP in 2016 to 54.8 per cent in the end of 2018. Inflation has dropped from 15 per cent at the end of 2016 to 9 per cent in January this year, the lowest in 6 years,” he added.

The country’s trade balance account for the first time in more than a decade, he said, had also started recording surplus from 2017, a phenomenon President Akufo-Addo said was expected to remain.

Touching on investor confidence in the country, the President said the May 2018 $2 billion dollar Eurobond issued at the lowest rate of 8.62 and 7.62 per cent respectively for 10 and 30 years respectively signified confidence in the economy.

“It is not a surprise therefore that today Ghana is the leading recipient of foreign direct investment. These are good figure and as we prepare to exit from the IMF programme in April, we expect the impressive figures and the good performance to continue,” he averred.

He however noted that the country could not make the progress it desired unless there was consistency and discipline with the management of the economy.

“The yoyo nature of the boom and buzz does not help us achieve our goal of prosperity and lift us out of poverty.

“We are determined to do the right things… We have imposed on ourselves fiscal discipline and deepen good governance practice. We have decided to implement a legal frame work to maintain the discipline and by that we have passed the fiscal responsibility law Act 982 cupping the deficit at 5 per cent,” he stated.

He said although the temptation for borrowing would be enticing, he was bent on running a responsible administration “mindful of the next generation and not the next election.”

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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