Business News of 2014-04-15

Economy grew by 4.9% in fourth quarter 2013

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2013 grew by 4.9 per cent (year on year) compared to the same 4.9 per cent recorded in the third quarter of the same year.

GDP refers to the value of a country's overall output of goods and services within a particular year. In Ghana, it is categorised into three sectors; agriculture, industry and services.

According to the Ghana Statistical Service, nominal value of the country’s overall output (GDP) measured at current prices were estimated at GH¢25,818.9 million (GH¢25.82 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2013.

This brings the entire monetary value of GDP in 2013 to GH¢93.46 billion.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, the services sector recorded the highest growth of 7.2 per cent, followed by agriculture with a growth of 3.4 per cent. Industry however recorded negative growth of 1.9 per cent.

The Government Statistician, Dr Philomena Nyarko, announced this at a news conference in Accra on April 8 to simultaneously release the inflation rate for March 2013 as well as the 4th quarter GDP.

“Key findings of the performance of activities in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the fourth quarter of 2012 were as follows; financial and insurance activities increased by 18.3 per cent; electricity production expanded by 16.3 per cent and information and communication increased by 12.8 per cent,” she said.

Dr Nyarko also added that transport and storage activities increased by 11 per cent while public administration grew by 10.8 per cent with fishing rising to 9.6 per cent.

March 2013 inflation

The average change in prices of goods and services in the country, also known as inflation, rose to 14.5 per cent in March 2014.

The March 2014 rate, is the highest since March 2010, 0.5 percentage points higher than the 14.0 per cent recorded in February 2014.

Subsequently, the monthly rate change for March 2014 was 0.9 per cent, compared with the 1.1 per cent recorded in February 2014.

The food inflation rate of 8.2 per cent was about one-and-half times lower than the non-food inflation rate of 19.2 per cent.

On the regional front, Ashanti Region recorded the highest rate of 17.1 per cent, followed by Greater Accra Region with 14.8 per cent, while the Upper West Region recorded the lowest rate of 9.1 per cent.

Plea to data producers

The government statistician used the occasion to urge data producers on whose data the GSS relied to release them on time to enable the service to come out with its findings and analysis.

According to her, once they were not able to get the data on time, they had no option than to rely on available statistics to compute their figures.

That notwithstanding, she added, the Statistical Service always went back to revise the figures as and when new data was received from their sources.