Economy grew steadily in Q4-2023

July PM data for Ghana pointed to a sixth successive monthly deterioration in business conditions as new orders and output fell once again.
File photo: JAFEPX Makola Market and street scene, downtown Accra, Ghana

By Joshua Worlasi AMLANU [email protected]

Provisional real gross domestic product (GDP) witnessed a 3.8 percent increase in the fourth quarter (October to December) of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, according to data released by the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS).

This represents the quickest growth rate in a year, following four consecutive quarters of contraction.

The provisional real quarterly gross domestic product (QGDP) growth rate, including oil and gas, remained steady at 3.8 percent year-on-year (YoY) in the fourth quarter of 2023, mirroring the growth rate of the previous year.

However, GDP growth rate without oil and gas (non-oil GDP) for the same period of 2023 saw a slight decrease to 3.4 percent, compared to 4.2 percent in 2022.

The GDP, including oil and gas, estimated at constant 2013 prices for the fourth quarter of 2023, amounted to GH¢50.65billion, marking an increase from GH¢48.8billion in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Meanwhile, the non-oil GDP reached GH¢47.5billion, up from GH¢45.9billion in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Notably, the last quarter of 2023 recorded the highest real GDP growth rate (3.8 percent) across the four quarters, with the industry sector reversing a consistent contraction in the first three quarters to an expansion of 1.6 percent in Q4 2023.

However, annual GDP growth rates for the industry sector returned to a contraction of 1.2 percent in 2023, following a marginal expansion of 0.6 percent in 2022.

Key drivers of GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2023 included mining and quarrying, crops, information and communication, manufacturing and trade, repair of vehicle and household goods.

The services sector remained the largest sector of the economy in the third quarter of 2023, accounting for 46.3 percent of GDP at basic prices. The services sector recorded the highest growth of 5.1 percent, followed by the agriculture sector at 4.5 percent and the industry sector at 1.6 percent.

The GDP share of industry and agriculture were 32.3 percent and 21.4 percent respectively.

However, five sub-sectors contracted in quarter four of 2023: electricity (-19.5 percent), construction (-12.8 percent), forestry and logging (-3.8 percent), fishing (-0.2 percent), water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (-0.1 percent).

Over the past decade, four of the 22 sub-sectors have consistently accounted for more than 50 percent of GDP, with the last two years recording a share of more than 60.0 percent. The crops and trade, repair of vehicles, and household goods sub-sectors accounted for nearly 40 percent (37.7 percent) of GDP in 2023.

Gross national income per capita from a local currency perspective has more than doubled since 2018 (from GH¢9,813 to GH¢25, 349). However, from a USD viewpoint, the income per head has remained relatively stable over the last six years, ranging from a highest of US$2,453 to a lowest of US$2,126.

Regarding seasonally adjusted GDP for Q4 2023, notable activities included the agriculture sector expanding by 1.3 percent, with growth in the crops and cocoa sub-sector.

Within the industry sector, mining and quarrying saw significant growth while construction activities continued to contract. All sub-sectors within the services sector expanded, with information and communication leading the growth.

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