Ghana: GDP growth records quickest upturn since Q2 2019 in the final quarter of 2021
GDP growth sped up to 7.0% year on year in the fourth quarter, from 6.5% in the third quarter. Q4’s reading marked the best result since Q2 2019.
Looking at the breakdown, the acceleration came chiefly on the back of a rebound in industrial activity. The industrial sector grew 4.8% annually in the fourth quarter, contrasting the third quarter’s 1.6% decrease and marking the best reading since Q2 2019. In addition, the agricultural sector gained steam, growing 8.2% in Q4 (Q3: +7.6% yoy). Meanwhile, services sector growth fell to 8.1% in Q4, marking the worst result since Q1 2021 (Q3: +13.6% yoy).
On a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, economic growth improved to 1.8% in Q4, following the previous period’s 1.5% expansion and similarly marking the strongest growth in over two years.
Going forward, this year’s outlook appears increasingly clouded by a troublesome inflationary backdrop and the country’s large public debt levels. Commenting on the outlook, analysts at the EIU highlighted the potential effects of tightening monetary policy this year:
“Sustained tightening of monetary policy and government intervention will help to partially stabilize inflationary and depreciatory pressures, while curtailing domestic demand.”
Meanwhile, analysts at Goldman Sachs said:
“Ghana has experienced severe FX depreciation and intensified balance of payments pressures year-to-date in addition to exceptionally high inflation. […] We expect fiscal dynamics and external pressures to weigh on growth in 2022, resulting in a reduction in annual GDP growth to +3.9% yoy.”