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Sep 23, 2011

Economy Records 34% Growth

The country’s economy recorded a 34-per cent growth rate in the second quarter of this year making it the highest second quarter growth rate in four years.

A 7.2-per cent growth rate recorded in the second quarter of 2007 was until now the highest second quarter growth rate in the country’s statistical history.

The jump in the year-on-year (comparing 2010 second growth outlook with 2011 second quarter growth) growth rate in the economy from 5.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2010 to the current 34 per cent was mainly pushed by revenues from oil production which started late last year.

Growth in the economy has thus picked up tremendously in the second quarter of this year after the seasonality of agriculture and the habitually sluggish nature of industry in the first four months of every year pulled the 2011 first quarter growth rate to 30.6 per cent.

Consequently, the monetary value of goods and services produced in the country, otherwise known as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), within the second quarter of 2011 now stands at GH¢6,816 million as against the GH¢5,107.3 million recorded in the second quarter of 2010. The quarter-on-quarter GDP, however, recorded a dip, moving from GH¢7,118.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 to the current GH¢6,816million.

Announcing the second quarter GDP figures in Accra yesterday, the Government Statistician, Dr Grace Bediako, said the mining and quarrying (including oil production) sub-sector “contributed significantly” to the increase in economic activities in the second quarter of this year.

On the sector-by-sector outlook, the industry sector became the main contributor to the economy, recording a growth rate of 84.2 per cent as against agric’s 30.3 per cent growth rate in the second quarter.

The services sector, however, recorded a 14 per cent decline in growth in the quarter under review.

The Government Statistician explained that “the strong growth in the mining and quarrying sub-sector is reflected in the mineral production of gold, oil and quarrying”.

With regard to the manufacturing sector, Dr Bediako said manufacturing of wood, petroleum, chemicals, motor vehicles and furniture helped push the sector’s growth rate upward while that of agric was as a result of growth in crops “led mainly by increases in cocoa production”.

She, however, discounted perceptions that the agric sector was being weakened by the commencement of oil production in the country, explaining that the massive growth rate in the industry sector buoyed by oil “is overshadowing growth in the agric sector”.

The 2011 second quarter growth rate of 34 per cent comes at a time the World Bank and Standard Bank (the parent bank of Stanbic Bank Ghana) respectively predicted a 20 and 16.3 per cent growth rate for Ghana’s economy as against the government’s end-year growth target of about 14 per cent.

The two institutions which said Ghana now had the fastest-growing economy in the world, based their predictions mainly on the streaming of oil resources into the country’s revenue basket, which was expected to spearhead development.

Source:  Dr Grace Bediako - Government Statistician