Ghana’s Economy Expands Most Since 2014 in First Quarter

ACCRA (Capital Markets in Africa) – The economy of Ghana, West Africa’s biggest after Nigeria’s, expanded the most in almost three years in the first quarter, boosted by gains in the oil industry.

Gross domestic product rose 6.6 percent in the three months through March from a year earlier, Anthony Amuzu, deputy government statistician for operations at the Ghana Statistical Service, told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Accra. That’s the fastest expansion since the third quarter of 2014 and compares with 4.1 percent in the last three months of 2016.

The start of output from the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme oil field off the country’s coast in August was a “major driver” of growth, Amuzu said. Mining and quarrying, which includes oil, surged 33 percent, he said.

The government of President Nana Akufo-Addo, who came to power after winning a December vote, has vowed to boost economic growth, which fell to the lowest rate in 26 years in 2016. Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced tax breaks and increased state spending in his budget as part of plans to support private sector-led expansion.

Agriculture, which accounts for 14 percent of the economy, expanded 7.6 percent, he said. The country is the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer. Industry rose 12 percent and comprises 27 percent of GDP.


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