Ghana: deficit narrows, imports decline
from MASAHUDU KUNATEH in Accra, Ghana
ACCRA – LOCAL companies sold fewer products overseas for the period January to May this year but the trade deficit narrowed because of a big decline in gold and crude oil imports, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) said.
The trade deficit narrowed significantly to $156,6 million during the period, compared with a deficit of $990,8 million in the corresponding period of 2013.
It fell by 7,5 percent ($5,9 billion) from the $6,3 billion recorded in the same period of 2013. This was mainly due to lower earnings in gold and crude oil, the latest Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the BoG disclosed.
Exports, which had hit an all-time high in the same period in 2013, edged down 7,5 percent to $6.3 billion.
Gold exports amounted to $1,8 billion as both gold prices and volumes fell by 17 and 7 percent year-on-year respectively.
The weak prices of gold, in particular, have resulted in lower production volumes posing risks to the external and fiscal outlook.
The MPC said it was monitoring these developments and its impact through the trade and financial channels.
Also, crude oil exports declined to $1,6 billion in 2014 from $1,7 billion in 2013 on the back of lower production volumes which fell by 8 percent although prices inched up marginally by 1,3 percent.
Wampah argued that high private sector credit growth, improved cocoa production and expected addition of gas to the economy should provide some boost to growth conditions in the latter part of 2014 and beyond.
– CAJ News
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