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Ghana lowers 2017 budget deficit to 6.3 pct of GDP

8/1/2017 7:44:16 AM

Finance Minister presented  mid year review budget on 31.07.17

Ghana has lowered its 2017 budget deficit to 6.3 percent of gross domestic product from 6.5 percent despite a 15 percent drop in revenues in the first half of the year, its finance minister said on Monday.

Total revenues and grants for this year are expected to come in 0.9 percent of GDP less than previously anticipated at 43.1 billion cedis ($9.80 billion) due to falls in non-oil tax revenue and related expenditures, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told parliament.

However, Ofori-Atta said Ghana would still close its budget deficit by 0.2 percent of GDP by reducing expenditures by 1.1 percent of GDP, mostly through cuts to capital expenditure and transfers to state agencies.

GDP growth will remain unchanged from a previous estimate of 6.3 percent, Ofori-Atta said, compared with 3.5 percent in 2016, which was the lowest in 15 years.

"Inflation is trending downward, the cedi has stabilised, interest rates are lower and there is a general feeling of optimism and hope," he said.

Ghana, a major exporter of oil, gold and cocoa, is under a $918 million aid programme with the International Monetary Fund to restore fiscal balance to an economy dogged by large deficits, high public debt and sluggish growth.



Source: Reuters 

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