The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has patted the Akufo-Addo-led government on the back for using just 11 months to turn around the country’s economy, a feat he said seemed impossible to achieve in the eight years under the National Democratic.
“We have achieved under within one year, what seemed impossible to achieve in 8 years” under the National Democratic Congress, he told Parliament during the Presentation of the 2018 Budget statement.
He argued “We have turned the economy around and our policies are yielding results and bringing relieve to Ghanaians,” indicating that the Akufo-Addo government is on course to achieving the fiscal deficit of 6.3 per cent by the end of the year from the 9.4 under the NDC.
He said for the second time in a decade, the government has been able to stay within its budget deficit.
“Overall real GDP grew by 7.8 percent as of June against 2.7 percent in same period 2016. It is estimated to grow by 7.9 percent at end of 2017, up from the original forecast of 6.3 percent,” he announced.
“Non-Oil real GDP grew at an estimated 4.0 percent as of June 2017 compared to 5.9 per cent in the same period in 2016. Non-oil GDP growth is estimated at 4.8 percent at the end of 2017.
Again, he said end-period inflation was 11.6 per cent in October, 2017, compared to the 15.8 per cent at the same period in 2016;
The Minister said the overall budget deficit on cash basis was 4.5 per cent of GDP in September, 2017 against a target of 4.8 percent of GDP and an outturn of 6.4 percent in the same period in 2016.
Further, the primary balance posted a surplus of 0.3 percent of GDP in September, 2017, as targeted and is a significant improvement over a deficit of 1.6 percent realized during the same period in 2016.
“The country’s Gross International Reserves which stood at US$6.9 billion by end-September 2017, could cover 3.9 months of imports compared to the US$4.8 billion or 2.5 months import cover recorded in the same period of 2016,” he sadded
Mr. Ofori –Atta assured Ghanaians that the government is committed to solidifying the gains that it has been made since taking over the governance of the country 11 months ago.
He said government will use the 2018 budget, which is themed Putting Ghana Back to Work, to energise the entrepreneurial skill in Ghanaians and assist them with the tools and environment to be able to do something to create jobs and earn them a decent living.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana