The country’s economy has recorded a slow growth for the third consecutive time since quarter three of 2018 – largely owing to declines in the services and industry sectors, the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) quarterly GDP report has revealed.
The data show that the economy grew by 5.7 percent in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the 6.8 and 6.7 percent respectively in the two previous quarters. This indicates that since the third quarter of last year when growth increased by 2 percentage points to record 7.4 percent, economic growth has been on a declining trajectory.
In monetary terms, goods and services (including oil) produced in the second quarter were worth some GH¢39.9billion at constant prices. However, when adjusted to inflation, the economy was worth some GH¢84.1billion in the second quarter.
Again, from the release, oil continues to be the main driver of the economy, as without it the economy would have only recorded 4.3 percent growth. Commenting on this, Head of Department of Finance at the University of Cape Coast, Prof. John Gatsi, said there is need for a national policy detailing how the benefits of oil can be integrated into other sectors to boost growth and create jobs.
“We have not built a lot of auxiliary businesses that are attached to the oil sector. We have not used the oil to influence telecommunication; we have not used it to influence entrepreneurship; we have not used it to establish new industries linked to the oil sector. That is why we need to question the contribution of oil. There would be no need for separating oil growth from non-oil growth if the oil sector has been integrated into other sectors of the economy.
“It is very clear that oil is playing an important role in the economic management of the. What it also means is that, our traditional sectors are not performing the way it should be. So, there is a need for policy action that will ensure areas within the traditional sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing, which are not performing up to expectation are given the needed attention.
“We need to work assiduously on ensuring that the traditional sectors which generate the bulk of revenue and employment are put on the right path,” Prof. Gatsi said in an interview with the B&FT.
From the data, the services sector overtook the industry sector – growing by 6.5 percent whereas the latter grew by 6.1 percent. However, in the previous quarter Industry was the fastest-growing sector when it grew by 8.4 percent, while Services grew by 7.2 percent.
The Agriculture sector, on the other hand, maintained its position as the slowest-growing sector in the country since it grew by only 3.1 percent – albeit 0.9 percentage points better than the first quarter of this year.
In terms of sectoral distribution, the Services sector contributed most to the economy with 49.1 percent; Industry – 53.6 percent; and Agriculture – 15.3 percent.