Ghana’s total public debt stock went by ¢3.5 billion in two months to hit ¢335.9 billion ($57.9 billion) at the end of July 2021, the latest Summary of Economic and Financial Data by the Bank of Ghana has revealed.
This is equivalent to 76.4% of Gross Domestic Product.
However, the rate of increase has slowed down, compared to the ¢27.8 billion fresh funds added in April and May 2021.
The government had indicated in the Issuance Calendar in July 2021 that its borrowing will slow down in the third quarter of this year [July 2021 to September 2021] as it’s expected to borrow less than a billion cedi for the entire three months. Many will thus be waiting whether it will reflect in the August and September 2021 figures when released later on.
In May 2021, the nation’s total public debt stock stood at ¢332.4 billion, equivalent to $57.9 billion, about 75.7% of Gross Domestic Product.
According to the data from the Bank of Ghana, the domestic debt went up to ¢173.9 billion in July 2021, from ¢170.8 billion in May 2021. This is equivalent to 39.5% of GDP.
Importantly, the financial sector resolution bond had reduced to ¢14.9 billion in July 2021, from ¢15.2 billion in May 2021. This is equivalent to 3.4% of GDP.
For the external debt, it rather went by $100 million in May 2021 to $28 billion in July 2021. This is approximately 37.0% of GDP.
Ghana’s economy expanded by 3.9% in quarter 2 2021
Ghana’s economy expanded by 3.9% in the second quarter of this year, according to provisional figures from the Ghana Statistical Service.
During the same period last year where Covid-19 had emerged, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was -5.7%.
However, GDP growth rate without oil and gas (Non-Oil GDP) for second quarter 2021 was 5.2%, which is against a growth rate of -5.8% recorded the same period last year.
According to the figures, the increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was driven by a strong pick-up in the Services and Agriculture sectors.
The Health and Social Work (20.75%), Information and Communication Technology (20%), Hotel and Restaurants (18.7%) as well as Fishing (12.7%) Sub-sectors expanded significantly.
Economic outlook promising but uncertainty hangs on – IMF
The International Monetary Fund in its latest assessment of the Ghanaian economy said the Ghanaian economy was still facing some significant uncertainty in the coming months despite the economic outlook promising.
This is coming following a gradual recovery from COVID-19 shocks that severely hit the economy last year.
“Ghana was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government response helped contain the pandemic and support the economy, but at the cost of a record fiscal deficit. The economic outlook is improving, even though risks remain, including from the evolution of the pandemic and rising debt vulnerabilities”, IMF Executive Board Article IV Consultation with Ghana indicated.
(By Charles Nixon Yeboah)