Ghana: Growth ticks down in Q1 but rapid nonetheless
According to a preliminary estimate released by Ghana’s Statistical Institute, the economy expanded 6.7% year-on-year in the first quarter of the year, down slightly from the previous quarter’s 6.8% increase. In a similar fashion, in quarter-on-quarter, seasonally-adjusted terms, growth moderated slightly from 1.7% to 1.6%.
The industrial sector once again spearheaded the overall expansion, although it lost some stride from the previous quarter (Q1: +8.4% year-on-year; Q4: +8.9% yoy). Surging mining and quarrying output reflected strong dynamics in the oil industry, which, coupled with healthy outturns in the electricity and manufacturing sub-sectors, more than offset a sharp slump in construction activity.
Meanwhile, the services sector accelerated at the fastest rate since Q4 2015 (Q1: +7.2% yoy; Q4: +5.8% yoy), led by the information and communication, as well as health and social work sub-sectors. On a less positive note, growth in the agricultural sector halved (Q1: +2.2% yoy; Q4: +4.4% yoy), marking a three-year low. The deterioration reflected moderate growth in crop output and a contraction in forestry and logging activity.
Looking ahead, the economy should sustain a strong pace of expansion again this year, thanks to solid export growth and robust domestic demand. Fluctuations in global commodity prices and lower-than-anticipated oil production remain key risks to the outlook, however.