Ghana: Country Economic Forecast: 17 Feb 2012

Oxford Economics
February 17, 2012
5 Pages - SKU: OFE6823982
Countries covered: Ghana

After solid GDP growth of 7.7% in 2010, the start of oil production lifted growth to close to 20% in Q1 2011. The pace has slowed since then, but growth is still expected to have been about 15% in 2011 overall, before moderating to about 8% in 2012 as the big boost at the start of last year drops out of the calculations. While Ghana will only be a small oil producer output was just 80,000 b/d in 2011 there will be a sizeable impact on the fiscal and external accounts. Inflation has continued to drift lower, ending 2011 at 8.6% and averaging 8.7% for 2011 overall, the first year of single-digit inflation since 1971. Further cuts in fuel subsidies in December will push inflation up again in early 2012, and an average of about 9% is expected for the year. Ongoing concerns about inflation, rapid import growth and a fall in the GHC in January, led the Bank of Ghana to raise interest rates in February, reversing the cuts made in mid 2011. With the arrival of oil revenues and the hike in local fuel prices, the fiscal situation has improved despite some ambitious spending plans. The budget deficit was just over 5% of GDP in 2011, and the official target is for a fall to 4.8% in 2012, although pre-election spending could keep the deficit higher. The current account deficit rose to US$2.7bn in 2010. And despite exports climbing 60%, reflecting the first oil shipments, a 46% jump in imports and rising net outflows of services and income meant that the deficit widened again in 2011. But the gap should start to narrow in 2012 as import growth moderates.

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