Economy grows 9.3% in 3rd quarter

The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded 9.3 percent in the third quarter of 2017, anchored on growth in the industrial sector, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed.

The figure represents a 0.3 percent increment from what was recorded in the previous quarter, and 4.7 percent higher than the 4.6 percent recorded in the third quarter of last year.

In monetary terms the economy (including the oil sector) is worth some GH₵53.1billion when adjusted to inflation, compared to the GH₵44.4billion it was worth in the same period last year.

And in constant terms, using 2006 as the base year, the economy in the third quarter of 2017 is worth GH₵10.8billion compared to GH₵9.9billion in the same period last year.

Also, in sectoral terms, the industrial sector outperformed the two other sectors—agriculture and services – growing by 16.6 percent, whereas agriculture and services grew by 10 and 5.7 percent respectively.

However, the services sector maintained its position as largest contributor to the economy with 53.4 percent – followed by industry with 23.6 percent, and 23 percent for the agriculture sector.

Commenting on what accounted for this quarter’s growth of 9.3 percent, Acting Government Statistician Baah Wadieh said: “This can be attributed mainly to the high growth rate recorded in the following sub-sectors: fishing grew by 57 percent during the quarter. Then we also have mining and quarrying, which grew by 40.8 percent, and out of this oil and gas grew by 72.2 percent. We also recorded substantial growth rates in the health and social works sector, of about 24 percent.

“Then there was also growth in the production of water and sewerage, 21.5 percent; electricity also grew by 15.3 percent; education expanded by 14.4 percent; public administration, defence and social security grew by 13 percent; and information and communication also expanded by 10.7 percent during the third quarter of 2017. And all these pushed up the overall growth rate of the economy for the third quarter,” he said.

Again, many companies appear to be recovering from the aftermath of power shortfalls in 2015 and early 2016, which increased their operational costs and led to some shutting down.

Furthermore, a number of measures introduced by the new government in 2017 should begin to impact business performance, even if only incrementally.

Some of the initiatives included the removal or reduction of what government called ‘nuisance taxes’. Among those abolished were the one percent Special Import Levy; 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on financial services; and 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on selected imported medicines that are not produced locally.

Others are the 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on domestic airline tickets; 5 percent VAT/NHIL on Real Estate sales; excise duty on petroleum, and reduction of the special petroleum tax from 17.5 percent to 15 percent, among others.