Reckless Borrowing; Ghana’s Debt Stock Records 23 Per Cent Increment

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Data from the Bank of Ghana’s summary of financial and economic data that reviewed the health of the economy has revealed that, the country’s debt stock has witnessed an increment of almost 23%.

The data indicates that, the country’s debt stock has increased to GH¢200 billion, which means, there has been an additional GH¢45.9 billion to Ghana’s debt stock since May 2018.

This debt accumulation means that, since the last time that the data was released in March, the total debt stock has gone up by some GH¢2 billion. The GH¢200 billion debt now represents about 58% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

The component of the accrued debt stock is broken down as follows:

External debt accounted for GH¢105 billion of the debt, equivalent to $20 billion, which was about 30.6% of GDP, while domestic debt was GH¢94.6 billion, representing  27.5% of Ghana’s GDP.

The rise in the debt stock over the last two months can be attributed to the cedis’ marginal depreciation and recent funds advanced to clean up the banking and non-banking sectors of the economy.

A joint sustainability analysis by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank concluded that Ghana’s risks of external and overall debt distress continue to be assessed as high.

According to the report, while the rebased nominal GDP significantly improved the public debt to-GDP ratios, the debt service ratios continued to breach their respective thresholds under the baseline, reflecting underlying vulnerabilities.

It noted that, the downward trend in total public debt-GDP ratio was interrupted in 2018, reflecting the realization of significant contingent liabilities in the banking sectors, as seven banks resolved through end-December.

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