The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has underscored that, the economic fundamentals of the country are strong to ensure the success of the economy that will guarantee an improvement in the quality of the life of our people.
Speaking at the 2019 State of the Nation Address, he explained, ‘ the economy is at the heart of all we seek to do” and also spoke on the country’s support by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). President Akufo Addo stated, “we have just concluded a program with the IMF, and, with continuing discipline, we shall sign off from the deal in April.
He also noted that, this is the seventeenth time Ghana has had to go to the IMF in the sixty – two years of her independence. According to the president, “the yo – yo nature of the boom and bust has not helped us achieve our goal of sustained prosperity, and lift us out of poverty. We have gone through another round of painful impositions to get to where we are today with healthy fundamentals”.
Again, in the president’s address, he said, “production in the economy, as measured by real GDP growth, has picked up very strongly in the last two years. From 3.4% in 2016, real GDP growth increased to 8.1% in 2017. In 2018, provisional data for the first three quarters indicate a strong real GDP growth of 6.0%, higher than the annual target of 5.6%. Real GDP growth for 2019 is forecast at 7.6%.
Ghana’s recent GDP growth has placed it amongst the highest in the world. The fiscal deficit is being brought down from the 7.3% of rebased GDP in 2016 to a provisional 3.9% of GDP at the end of 2018. The debt-to-GDP ratio has declined from the 56.6% of GDP in 2016 to 54.8% at the end of 2018 – Akufo Addo, added.
On inflation, the president stated, that, it has dropped from 15.4%, at the end of 2016, to 9% in January this year, the lowest in six years, as announced by the Ghana Statistical Service last week. Interest rates are declining, and so is the Bank of Ghana Monetary Policy Rate.
Our trade balance account, for the first time in more than a decade, recorded a surplus in 2017, and is expected to remain in surplus. In May 2018, a US$2 billion Eurobond was issued for 30 and 10 years of US$1 billion each with coupon rates of 8.627% and 7.625% respectively, and these were the lowest rate and the longest maturity in our history, signifying confidence in the economy. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that, today, Ghana is the leading recipient of Foreign Direct Investment in West Africa.
Describing the figures of the economy as “good” with expectation of the “impressive figures and good performance to continue,” the president indicated, government is “determined to do things differently this time around; we have imposed on ourselves fiscal discipline, we are paying off legacy debts and deepening good governance practices and business confidence is growing”.
The State of the Nation Address also highlighted some legal framework to help with the discipline of the economy. It came to the fore while the president delivered his speech that, government has passed the Fiscal Responsibility Law, Act 982, capping the deficit at 5% by law.