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Country Report Ghana August 2017

Country Report Ghana August 2017

  • August 2017
  • ID: 270242
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

Summary

Table of Contents

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Outlook for 2017-21



  • Ghana's overall political stability is not in question, but the fiercely contested political landscape will cause significant tension between the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress.
  • The NPP came to power in early 2017, pledging an ambitious industrialisation programme. However, these plans will proceed more slowly than planned, given a tight fiscal position and the need to preserve debt sustainability.
  • Real GDP growth will be boosted to an average of 6.5% a year in 2017-18 by new oil and gas production, and remain robust in 2019-21, averaging 5.4%, on the back of greater power reliability and an improving business environment.
  • Inflation will decline but remain in double digits into 2018 amid accommodative monetary policy and rising domestic demand. After an election-related uptick in 2020, inflation will ease in 2021.
  • The cedi will remain prone to periods of volatility, given a dependence on commodity exports for hard-currency earnings and changing trends in investor sentiment to emerging markets.
  • The current-account deficit will narrow as a proportion of GDP throughout 2017-21 as new oil output comes on stream. However, rising profit remittances and strengthening import demand will prevent a move into surplus.


Review



  • Opposition parties and civil society groups have called for corrective action in the face of a claimed breakdown in law and order. The claims are exaggerated, but there has been an increase in politically motivated unrest.
  • Ghana's vice-president, Mahamudu Bawumia, led a high-profile delegation for a week's visit to China in late June. On their return Ghanaian officials claimed to have secured up to US$19bn in Chinese commitments.
  • The president and the Ministry of Finance have given seemingly contradictory statements over how quickly Ghana can end its current extended credit facility (ECF) with the IMF.
  • The Bank of Ghana (BoG, the central bank) has cuts its policy rate by 150 basis points, to 21%, as inflation continues to trend downward. However, in the local banking sector non-performing loans are still increasing.
  • Oil production has commenced from the offshore Sankofa project. Its production capacity of up to 50,000 barrels/day (b/d) has the potential to increase Ghana's total capacity above 200,000 b/d in the coming years.
  • A fatal mine collapse at the start of July has prompted the government to promise tougher action in the ongoing clampdown against illegal small-scale gold mining.


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