Government’s targeted growth of 5.9% for 2009 has been described as realistic in view of current circumstance.
Speaking concerning arguments that the targeted growth for 2009 showed a lack of ambition particularly after the previous administration targeted 7% for the past year achieved 7.3% growth, the man on top of the national income accounts says the contrast might not be useful.
Mr Ebo Duncan, Head of Economic Statistics at the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) told the Financial Intelligence in an interview last week that following a year with very high national output, subsequent growth rates would likely be on the lower side. “Such high rates are usually unsustainable, unless a country is coming out of a recession”, he said. He further noted that the high rate of growth achieved in the past year partly resulted from one-off projects that will not be repeated in the current year, mentioning the construction of additional stadia for the African Nations Cup tournament as an example.
The past government saw the country through a period of sustained growth from a growth rate of 3.7% in 2000, and climaxed its performance with the achievement of a GDP growth rate of 7.3% in 2008. Many have lauded the previous administration for this feat, describing the achievement as the result of a better management of the economy. Mr Duncan also mentioned the current economic crisis as a major challenge to government’s ability to sustain growth.
According to him, our ability to meet the year’s targeted growth of 5.9% would be satisfactory under the current circumstance, saying that the World Bank projects growth rates in Africa to plummet to 2.4% in 2009 as a result of the global economic turmoil. The continent for the past few years had achieved significant growth, hovering around 6%, and the bank predicts a fall in growth rate would translate into increased poverty, infant mortality and rapidly deteriorating budget situations.
Source: Financial Intelligence
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