Ghana's economy contracted by 3.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, according to data released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
This compares favourably with countries such as Nigeria and South Africa whose economies contracted by 6.1 and 17.1 per cent, respectively, in the second quarter.
On the global front, the economy of the United Kingdom (UK) shrunk by 21.7 per cent; that of Germany by 11.7 per cent, France by 19 per cent and the United States of America (USA), 9.1 per cent.
Ghana’s non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures productivity within the economy, also shrunk by 3.4 per cent within the same period.
The slowdown puts the economy at risk of recording its sharpest yearly contraction in 37 years.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic after the release of the second-quarter GDP, the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, attributed the economic contraction largely to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which brought economic activities all over the world to a standstill.
He said given the growth rate of 4.9 per cent in the first quarter and the contraction of 3.2 per cent in the second quarter, the 37-year yearly expansion in GDP should be guarded.
Prof. Annim said one of the major drivers of the contraction was the manufacturing sub-sector, which shrunk by 14.3 per cent, given that it had the second-highest share of 11.3 per cent across the 22 sub-sectors, including cocoa and oil and gas.
Other sectors that recorded contractions were hotels and restaurants sub-sector by 74.9 per cent, representing 0.8 per cent of GDP; mining and quarrying sub-sector, which shrunk by 5.6 per cent or 20.3 per cent of GDP; trade, repair of vehicles, and household goods sub-sectors, which contracted by 20.2 per cent, representing 8.6 per cent of GDP.
The sub-sectors, which recorded growth within the period under review, were the information and communication sub-sector which grew by 74.2 per cent; health and social work sub-sector which grew by 21.3 per cent; education which grew by 17.9 per cent, and public administration, defence and social security which grew by 12.4 per cent.
The agricultural sector recorded the highest growth of 2.5 per cent, with the industry and services sectors contracting by 5.7 and 2.6 per cent, respectively.
The services sector was the largest sector of the Ghanaian economy in the second quarter of 2020 with 48 per cent share of GDP, followed by industry and agriculture, which accounted for 33 and 19 per cent of GDP, respectively.
In the agricultural sector, the livestock sub-sector grew by 5.7 per cent in both the second quarter of 2019 and this year; the forestry and logging sub-sector contracted by 8.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 and by 6.5 per cent in the same period in 2019, while the crops sub-sector expanded by three per cent in the second quarter of 2020 and by four per cent in the same period in 2019.
Quarter on quarter
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, Professor Annim said, the economy contracted by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the first quarter of 2020.