The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant, has said the country’s economic growth and outlook continue to be positive, although its year-on-year inflation has shot up.
He stated that the fundamentals are still resilient and strong but not as weak as perceived, despite acknowledging that a number of factors including the outbreak of COVID-19 have contributed to the existing economic recession.
Speaking to the BBC’s Daniel Dadzie in an interview, he highlighted that Ghana is not the only country to hit the snag because other developed economies have equally recorded higher inflation rates.
“As we speak right now, I am still trying to find any major country that has been able to battle inflation. It’s not just inflation but about growth. Our economy has been growing despite the fact that inflation is at that level. Our economy is very different from those economies.
“We’re seeing larger economies also riling now; like Nigeria. We’ve seen the US economy has inflation at a 40-year high; we’ve seen the UK economy [with] same problem, the same with Canada.
“So, it’s not one that you isolate and say because of inflation, then it means everything else is crumbling,” he observed.
Ghana’s year-on-year inflation shot up by 2.2 per cent to 29.8 per cent in June 2022, according to data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
This is the highest recorded since December, 2003.
However, the rate of inflation, according to the inflation curve, has begun slowing down compared to previous months.
Whilst inflation for locally produced items was 29.2 per cent, that of imported items was 31.3 per cent.
Similarly, the country’s public debt increased from 65 per cent to 80 per cent of GDP during the pandemic, despite being one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.
These and other factors have forced the country to seek economic support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
MrYofi Grant says the return to the fund should not be interpreted wrongly.
“Let me point out a few things to you; prior to Covid, our economy was probably one of the fastest growing in the world. Even in the Covid times when many economies were riling, the Ghanaian economy grew by 0.5 per cent it was still positive.
“I saw an article written by an economist which says that ‘isn’t President Akufo-Addo or Ghana going back on its word on Ghana Beyond Aid?’ Absolutely no!
“We are not going for aid, free money. We are all members of the IMF so we put money there. It’s like a lender of last resort,” he added.