Ghanaï¿½s economy recorded a negative growth of 5.1 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
The economy performed better last year for the same period, recording 23.0 percent growth.
Government Statistician Dr Grace Bediako announced the decline at a media briefing on Wednesday June 22, 2011. The services sector, which has for some time now recorded the highest growth, has been overtaken by the industry sector which recorded the highest growth among the sectors with 21.4 percent for the first quarter.
The services sector came second with a growth of 5.3 percent followed by the agric sector which recorded a decline of 35.7 percent.
The growth in the Industry sector has been attributed to the commercial exploitation of oil in the country, which increased the subsectorï¿½s output by 136.1 percent.
Commenting on the negative growth figure, Dr Bediako said apart from the seasonality factor, businesses go through low and high production periods. As well, ï¿½the negative growth in the first quarter of 2011 is characteristic of first and second quarters. So unless something changes down the line, we will find most of our first quarters will record maybe small positive growth or negative.ï¿½
Dr Bediako called for the increased use of modern agricultural practices to arrest the decline in agricultural productivity. Agriculture output in the first quarter of the year recorded a decline of 35.7 percent; all of its subsectors crops, livestock, forestry and logging as well as fishing recorded a decline as well.
In a related development, Producer price index for the month of May 2011 decreased to 23.80 percent, declining by 0.49 percentage points compared to that of April which recorded a rate of 24.29 percent, the highest rate in the 12 month period.
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