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Economy grows by 6.7% in first quarter as inflation rate for May dips to 6.7 per cent

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Ken Ofori Atta — Minister for Finance
Ken Ofori Atta — Minister for Finance

The country’s economy grew by 6.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, compared to a growth of 5.5 per cent for the same period in 2018.

Non-oil GDP, on the other hand, also grew by six per cent in the first quarter against a growth of four per cent for the same period in 2018.

The industry sector recorded the highest growth of 8.4 per cent, followed by the services and agriculture sector, which grew by 7.2 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.

Presenting the first quarter GDP at a media briefing in Accra, Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Anim, said the main drivers of the growth in GDP were the information and communication, health and social work, mining and quarrying and the electricity sub sectors.

The information and communication sub sector increased from 16.3 per cent in quarter one of 2018 to 37 per cent in quarter one of 2019, while the health and social work sub sector slowed slightly to 22.1 per cent against 24.8 per cent for the same period last year.

The mining and quarrying sub sector also slowed slightly to 20.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 from 24.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2018.

Professor Kobina Anim also indicated that the negative contributors of the first quarter GDP growth came from the sub sectors of construction (-8.7 per cent), water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (-6.4 per cent), forestry and logging (-5.8 per cent), and fishing (-1.5 per cent).

Nominal GDP

He noted that the GDP estimate at current prices in purchasers’ value for the first quarter was GH¢84.72 billion, compared to GH¢72.99 billion in the first quarter of 2018, while the non-oil GDP estimate at current prices for first quarter of 2019 stood at GH¢81.95 million compared to GH¢71.32 million in the first quarter of 2018.

The GDP estimate at constant using 2013 prices for the first quarter of 2019 was GH¢40.49 billion, compared to GH¢37.97 billion for the same period in 2018.

GDP shares

The services sector still remained the largest sector in the Ghanaian economy in the first quarter of 2019, with a share of 47.2 per cent of GDP at basic prices.

The GDP share of industry and agriculture were 33.1 per cent and 19.7 per cent respectively.

May inflation

The producer price inflation (PPI) for May 2019 also dipped from 7.1 per cent in April 2019 to 6.7 per cent., representing a decrease of 0.4 per cent.

The rate which was contained in the PPI release, which was also released at the same media briefing, indicated that between May 2018 and May 2019, the PPI increased by 6.7 per cent.

The mining and quarrying sub sector recorded the highest year-on-year PPI rate, followed by the manufacturing sub sector and the utilities sub sector.

The PPI in the mining and quarrying sub sector increased from 12.3 per cent in April 2019 to 15.1 per cent in May 2019, representing an increase of 2.8 per cent, while manufacturing, which constitutes about two-thirds of total industry decreased by 1.3 per cent to record 6.2 per cent.

The utilities sub sector also recorded inflation rate of 1.1 per cent, indicating an increase of 0.1 per cent over the rate recorded in April.