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Economy projected to grow by 6.3% in 2017

March 2, 2017, midnight

Government has projected a real GDP growth of 6.3 percent; with oil for the year 2017, while non-oil real GDP growth is estimated at 4.6 percent.

This is compared with the 2016 GDP, based on the provisional out-turn for the first three quarters of the period, which is estimated at 3.6 percent, with the non-oil real GDP estimated at 4.6 percent.

Presenting the budget in parliament today [Thursday], Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, stated that government will work at achieving its macroeconomic targets to improve the lives of Ghanaians. He announced that, government has projected an end-of-year inflation of 11.2 percent, while overall fiscal deficit is pegged at 6.5 percent of GDP.

“We believe strongly that, our medium-term policies, anchored on fiscal discipline, a broadened tax base, elimination of wasteful expenditures, prudent debt management strategies, complementary monetary policy, and sustainable external balance, will ensure even better macroeconomic outcomes in the medium-term,” he said.

Touching on total expenditure for the year 2017, (including provision made for the clearance of arrears and outstanding commitments), Mr. Ofori-Atta announced that, government estimates GH¢56.5 billion, equivalent to 27.8 percent of GDP.

“The estimated expenditure for the year represents a 21.0 percent increase over the provisional outturn for 2016. Of this amount, GH¢3.7 billion, equivalent to 1.8 percent of GDP and 6.6 percent of total expenditure will be used for the clearance of arrears and outstanding commitments”.

On debt, he disclosed that, the total public debt stock as at end 2016, stood at 73.3 percent of GDP up from 71.63 percent in 2015.

“This was due to the larger than expected fiscal deficit and financing requirement in 2016. Domestic and external debt stood at 32.02 percent of GDP and 41.29 percent, respectively,” he said.

In nominal terms, Mr. Ofori-Atta stated that, the public debt stock as at end 2016 stood at GH?122.3 billion (US$29.2 billion), with domestic and external debt of GH?53.4 billion (US$12.8 billion) and GH?68.9 billion (US$16.5 billion), respectively.