We’ve have managed our debt management programme successfully despite COVID-19-Ofori-Atta

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has told parliament that Ghana managed to successfully execute its debt management programme despite the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Presenting the mid-year budget review on Thursday, the Minister said The debt-to-GDP ratio as at December 2019 was 62.4 percent.

“Mr. Speaker, our public debt management programme for the 2019 financial year was successfully executed despite challenges from the global and the domestic economy. As at end- December 2019, the total gross public stock stood at GHȼ217,990.7 million (US$39,344.2 million). Of this amount, external debt amounted to GHȼ112,509.4 million or US$20,306.4 million while domestic debt amounted to GHȼ105,481.2 million or US$19,037.9 million. The debt-to-GDP ratio as at December 2019 was 62.4 percent, up from 57.6 percent at end-December 2018, (reflecting the impact of the financial sector bailout cost and the energy sector payments).”

“The total debt stock was made up of GHȼ134,888.9 million (US$23,992.6 million) and GHȼ120,838.3 million (US$21,493.4 million) of external and domestic debt accounting for approximately 52.7 percent and 47.3 percent of the total public debt stock, respectively. As a percentage of GDP, external and domestic debt represented 35.00 percent and 31.36 percent, respectively,” he added.

He said: “Mr. Speaker, as stated earlier, the outbreak of the pandemic is having a negative impact on the financial sector here in Ghana and across the world. All over the world, central banks are being relied upon by governments to find the liquidity to tackle the socio-economic difficulties unleashed by the pandemic. The Bank of Ghana has stepped up to the challenge and announced various policy measures to help support the economy and financial institutions in order to cushion the adverse impact of Covid-19 on the economy. It is important to stress that this has been possible because of the responsible and competent management of both the fiscal and monetary space since 2017”.

On the performance of the economy in the first quarter of 2020, he says
Overall real GDP growth rate of 6.8 percent, Non-Oil Real GDP growth rate of 6.7 percent, End-period Inflation rate of 8.0 percent, Overall fiscal deficit of 4.7 percent of GDP, Primary surplus of 0.7 percent of GDP; and Gross international reserves to cover at least 3.5 months of imports of goods and services.

On agriculture he said: “The Agriculture Sector recorded a growth of 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2.2 percent during the same period in 2019. Industry Sector recorded a growth of 1.5 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 8.4 percent during the same period in 2019. Growth in the Services Sector was strong at 9.5 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 7.2 percent recorded during the same period in 2019.”

On inflation the Minister said: “Mr. Speaker, headline inflation remained flat at 7.8 percent from January until March 2020. Inflation, however, rose to 10.6 percent in April and further to 11.3 percent in May, reflecting the panic-buying that preceded the market fumigation exercises across the country and the partial lockdown in the two largest cities, Accra and Kumasi. Inflation has declined marginally to 11.2 percent in June as pressure on food prices begin to decline due to the easing the restriction”.

By: Rainbowradioonline.com

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