Business News of 2013-12-02

Cedi continues depreciating

The Ghana cedi continues to depreciate against major foreign currencies, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) noted recently. The Central Bank said as at November 20, this year, the local currency had depreciated at a slower rate of 9 per cent against the United States dollar compared to 17.4 per cent during the same period in 2012.

Dr Kofi Wampah, Governor of the Central Bank, who disclosed this at the latest Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Accra, said the real effective exchange rate appreciated by 2.8 per cent during the period.

Also, he said private inward transfers received through the banking system from January to September 2013 declined to $12.6 billion from $13.4 billion for the same period in 2012, adding that of the total transfers, $1.3 billion accrued to individuals, representing a decline of 0.4 per cent over the same period in 2012.

For the first nine months of 2013, he said the balance of payments improved, as it recorded a lower deficit of $ 1.7 billion compared to a deficit of nearly $ 2.1 billion during the same period last year.

The Governor explained that this was largely due to increased net inflows to the financial account in spite of deterioration in the current account deficit.

“The current account deficit widened to $ 4.5 billion from the $ 4.1 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2012. This was as a result of deterioration in the services, income and transfers account, which was moderated by an improvement in the trade balance.”

Dr Wampah stated that gross international reserves amounted to $ 5.6 billion (2.9 months of imports) in November 2013 from a stock position of $5.3 billion (3 months of imports) at the end of December 2012.