Business News Thu, 15 Nov 2018

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Economy projected to grow by 7.6 percent - Ofori-Atta

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance has announced government’s projection to grow the Ghanaian economy by 7.6 percent in 2019, which show an increase of 6.8 percent from last year’s figure.

According to him, the government is also targeting a single-digit inflation of 8 per cent, a fiscal deficit of 4.2 per cent of GDP, primary surplus of 1.2 per cent of GDP as well as Gross International Reserves to cover not less than 3.5 months of imports.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta made the announcement at the presentation of the 2019 Budget statement and economic policy in Parliament.

He stated that September 2018 figures show that real GDP grew by 5.4 per cent in the first half of 2018.

He said the real non-oil GDP grew by 4.6per cent compared to the 2018 target of 5.8 per cent end-period inflation rate declined from 11.8 per cent in 2017 to 9.8 per cent at the end of September 2018, and further to 9.5 per cent as of October 2018.

He said total expenditure, including clearance of arrears, has been estimated at GH¢73.4 billion, equivalent to 21.3 per cent of GDP, representing a growth of 27 per cent above the projected outturn for 2018.

Mr Ofori-Atta also stated that expenditure on wages and Salaries is forecasted at GH¢19.4 billion representing about 26.5 percent of total expenditure.

He said the wage bill of the country is anticipated to reduce to 5.6 per cent of GDP from the 5.9 per cent projected outturn for 2018.

He said expenditure on goods and services is projected at GH¢6.3 billion, representing 1.8 per cent of GDP.

Mr Ofori-Atta also indicated that the annual growth of 38.8 per cent reflects a full provision made to cater for the government’s priority programmes, including the flagship Free SHS policy.

He said a total amount of GH¢18.6 billion has been estimated for Interest Payments of public debt, of this amount, domestic interest payments would constitute about 77.8 per cent and amount to GH¢14.5 billion.

He maintained that government in 2019 would continue to implement the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Act, 2017 (Act 947) to reduce budget rigidities and create fiscal space to fund growth-enhancing expenditures.

“In this regard, transfers to Statutory Funds as well as all other earmarked funds, are estimated at GH¢13.8 billion, equivalent to 4.0 per cent of GDP, compared to 3.5 per cent in 2018”.

Mr Ofori-Atta further announced that Capital Expenditure is projected at GH¢8.5 billion, equivalent to 2.5 per cent of GDP and a growth of 55.7 per cent over the 2018 projected outturn. Of this amount, domestically financed Capital Expenditure is estimated at GH¢3.2 billion or 0.9 per cent of GDP.

He said an amount of GH¢5.3 billion has been budgeted for Foreign Financed Capital Expenditure and this would be funded by a combination of Project Grants and Loans.

Source: ghananewsagency.org

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