Ghana: Growth ticks down in Q3
December 18, 2019
Annual growth inched down to an over one-year low of 5.6% in the third quarter, according to a preliminary estimate released by Ghana’s Statistical Institute on 18 December. The print was slightly below the second quarter’s 5.7% expansion and marked the fourth consecutive quarter of softening growth. In quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted terms, growth remained stable at the second quarter’s 1.4%.
The second quarter result chiefly reflected cooling dynamics in the industrial and services sectors, which more than offset an upturn in agricultural activity. Growth in industrial sector output slumped to a near three-year low of 5.7% year-on-year in Q3 (Q2: +6.1 yoy), largely due to faltering mining and quarrying output. In a similar fashion, the services sector lost traction in the quarter (Q3: +5.7% yoy; Q2: +6.5% yoy), amid a marked downturn in retail trade and repair activities.
That said, agricultural output accelerated to a two-year high in the third quarter (Q3: +5.9% yoy; Q2: +3.1% yoy). This was chiefly thanks to more favorable weather conditions and higher farmgate prices for cocoa—Ghana’s key commodity export—which prevented a sharper slowdown in overall activity growth in Q3.
Looking ahead, growth is expected to remain healthy next year. Domestic demand is set to benefit from increasing public spending and solid consumer demand. In addition, investment activity should pick up further following this year’s expected rebound. Volatile commodity prices and fiscal slippage ahead of next year’s elections remain risks to the outlook, however
Author: Almanas Stanapedis, Economist