Business News of Saturday, 6 November 2010
Source: Joy Online
Latest figures released by Ghana’s Statistical Service indicate the country’s economy stands at GH¢44 billion, 60 per cent more than earlier estimated.
The country per this new figure is deemed to have attained a middle income status.
Government’s statistician, Dr. Grace Bediako told Joy Business the new figures confirm suspicions that the economy has been grossly undervalued at least for the past five years.
She said the re-basing of the economy is in line with international best practice and has been possible due to additional data gathered.
"The figures show we are now in a lower middle income," she said, adding that the country must work harder to break into the higher middle income status.
Per the new records, Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product for 2009 is said to be 6.6 percent instead of the 5.9 percent earlier announced. The growth rate for 2008 shot up to 8.4 percent instead of the 7.2 percent.
Ghana has the largest Per Capita Income in West Africa but 21st in the continent.
But a policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, is contesting the timing of the new figures.
Franklin Cudjoe, Executive Director of the IMANI, told Joy News the new figures could have negative repercussion on the country’s debt servicing portfolio, explaining that donor partners will no longer be obliged to support the country’s economy.
“Clearly I don’t think this is the way we do things economically. I don’t think just waking up and announcing this, especially in this kind of economy when data quality is a serious issue; you just don’t wake up to announce suddenly that you are there,” he said.