Ghana’s economic growth rate for 2017 has been revised downwards to 8.1 percent based on the newly rebased national accounts, relative to the 8.5 percent growth rate recorded on the previous accounts.
The Ghana statistical Service (GSS) announced a rebased national account here on Friday, with 2013 as the new base year compared with the previous national account with 2006 as base year.
Rebasing is the recalculation of the value of the economy based on new trends in the economy and it is usually done with a new base year.
“All the sectors expanded and all the sectors grew but some grew more than others. Industry, for instance, grew by 15 percent and it was the area that recorded the largest growth. Services also grew but the growth in services was smaller than we observed for industry and agriculture,” Baah Wadieh, Acting Government Statistician, stated.
The agriculture sector grew by 6.1 percent and industry 15.7 percent with the services sector growing by 3.3 percent.
The estimate showed that the country’s GDP expanded by 32.4 percent to 123.6 billion Ghana cedis (25.3 billion U.S. dollars), relative to the 93.4 billion cedis (19.5 billion dollars).
The value of the newly rebased GDP was calculated based on an exchange rate of 1.92 Ghana cedis to the U.S. dollar in 2013 and 4.36 cedis to the dollar in 2017.
Per capita income, which was the equivalence of 2,437 dollars in 2013, has also been revised to the equivalence of 2,035 dollars.
The rebasing was carried out by the Ghana Statistical Service to capture new developments in the economy. For instance, commercial oil production started after the last base year of 2006, while the expansion in the telecoms sector and new trend in mining revenue also came after the last base year.
Although some observers believe the new size of the economy would cause the debt-to-GDP ratio to drop further and allow government some borrowing space, the inherent challenge of low revenue-to-GDP ratio will also worsen, putting more pressure on government to raise revenues.
“Looking at the new per capita income, Ghana has retained its status as a lower middle income country,” Magnus Ebo Duncan, Senior fellow at the economic think tank Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), commented in an interview with Xinhua.