The country’s economy grew by 9 percent in the second quarter of this year, the highest recorded since the third quarter of 2014 when it grew by 13.5 percent, a  release by the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) has shown

Compared to same to period last year, the economy grew by 1.1 percent; and 6.6 percent compared to quarter one of 2017.

Measured in monetary terms, the oil GDP estimate at current prices at purchaser’s value for the second quarter of 2017 was GH?45.3 billion compared to GH?38 billion in the same period last year; and GH?44.7 billion in the first quarter this year.

The non-oil GDP estimate at current prices for the second quarter of 2017 was GH?43.3 billion compared to GH?37.6 billion in same period last year.

This, Acting Government Statistician, Baah Wadieh said, is attributable to the improvement in oil production which sped up growth in the mining and quarrying subsector.

“The quarter two growth rate is mainly attributable to growth in the following subsectors. We have mining and quarrying which grew by 75 percent and under the mining and quarrying we have oil and gas growing by about 188 percent.

Then, we have health and social work which also grew by 18 percent; we have information and communication growing by 15. 6 percent; then water and sewage by 13.3 percent; education by 9.6 percent and crops by 8.3 percent, with cocoa growing at 15.6 percent.

But by and large, you realise that the contribution of the mining and quarrying subsector far outstrips the other sectors. This is due to the input of oil and gas production because only that subsector grew by 188 percent, and it is because some of the repaired FPSO’s came into production and Sankofa and TEN also produced oils and these shot up the growth rate of mining and quarrying,” Mr. Wadieh said.

Further details in the release show that the services sector remains the largest contributor to GDP, even though industry outpaced it in terms of the growth of rate for the period under discussion.

The sector’s contribution to GDP was 62 percent, followed by industry which recorded 26.5, with agriculture trailing at 11.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the services sector grew by 5.6 percent; industry 19.3 percent; and agriculture grew at 3.4 percent.

The second quarter performance seems to boost the confidence of managers of the economy who have set end of year overall GPD target of 6.3 percent, and non-oil rate at 4.6 percent.

Some have argued, though, that government’s end of year target is ambitious and can only be achieved if serious policies and programmes are successfully implemented.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has maintained that government will be able to achieve its target in the 2017 budget and make Ghana a “country beyond aid.”

“We expect to be able to meet the targets that we have and we look forward to a good year. This budget presents a clear roadmap on how we will move this economy from its current state into a full-fledged middle-income economy a Ghana beyond aid. Our goal is to build the most business-friendly and people-centered economy in Africa, which will translate into job creation and prosperity for all Ghanaians,” Mr. Ofori Atta said

2016 revised figures

The GSS release also revised some figures in the 2016 annual GDP growth rates. Overall GDP has been revised from 3.5 to 3.7 percent. Agriculture and services growth of 3 percent and 5.7 percent were maintained, but industry growth was revised upwards from -1.4 to -0.5 percent. – B&FT