Written by: International Monetary Fund
The IMF Press Center is a password-protected site for working journalists. The IMF Press Center is a password-protected site for working journalists. Sign up to receive free e-mail notices when new series and/or country items are posted on the IMF website. Modify your profile May 14, 2021 A Concluding Statement describes the preliminary findings of IMF staff at the end of an official staff visit (or ‘mission’), in most cases to a member country. Missions are undertaken as part of regular (usually annual) consultations under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, in the context of a request to use IMF resources (borrow from the IMF), as part of discussions of staff monitored programs, or as part of other staff monitoring of economic developments. The authorities have consented to the publication of this statement. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF Executive Board for discussion and decision.
Washington, DC: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Carlo Sdralevich
held consultations under the Article IV during April 28 – May 12, 2021
through virtual meetings. At the conclusion of the mission, Mr.
Sdralevich issued the following statement:

“Ghana has managed very effectively the COVID-19 outbreak in the
country, and thus succeeded in protecting lives. Almost 93,000 cases have been confirmed, and unfortunately 780 people have died as
of today. The launch of mass vaccine rollout has been a breakthrough, with
the administration of approximatively a million doses as of end-May.

“The impact of the pandemic on the economy has been severe. Real GDP
growth slowed to 0.4 percent in 2020 from 6.5 percent in 2019, due to
lower activity in the extractive industries and a collapse in
hospitality and retail services, including the informal sector that
especially employs female workers. Inflation spiked to double digit
because of food price pressures, before falling to 8.5 percent in April

“Policy interventions in 2020 were also critical to safeguard
livelihoods and paved the way for a faster rebound of economic
activity. Real GDP growth is projected at 4.8 percent in 2021, driven by a rebound in
mining and services. Inflation is expected to remain around the central
bank’s target of 8 percent by end-2021. The CARES program has the potential to be transformative and inclusive
for the Ghanaian economy, buttressed by its emphasis on SMEs and
digitalization as well as leveraging the AfCFTA.

“Government interventions in 2020 also exacerbated pre-existing fiscal
rigidities and public debt vulnerabilities. The government deficit,
including energy and financial sector costs, reached 15.5 percent of
GDP, while annual gross financing needs exceeded 20 percent of GDP.
Public debt rose to 78 percent of GDP in 2020, from 64.4 percent in
2019, including ESLA of GHs7.63 billion in 2020.

“The 2021 budget’s recent policy pivot towards fiscal consolidation is
an important step in the right direction and a difficult one in a
pandemic. Fiscal consolidation should be deepened and anchored around
debt and debt service reduction to create space for social, health, and
development spending.

“Given the social and equity implications, fiscal consolidation should
rely more on progressive revenue and spending measures, while
guaranteeing fiscal support to the most vulnerable and social safety

“Despite progress in rationalizing power generation, the financial
viability of the energy sector affects people’s daily life and will remain
a drag on productivity and a driver of public debt if not addressed
decisively. Improving efficiency and collections remains a priority to
achieve substantial savings.

“The planned audits of COVID-19 emergency spending and of arrears
accumulated in 2020—in addition to routine budgetary reporting
practices—are welcome as they will help account for the increase of
spending and its effectiveness, and provide lessons to improve the
robustness of Public Financial Management systems.

“The team had collaborative and constructive discussions with Vice
President Bawumia, Finance Minister Ofori-Atta, Governor Addison of the
Bank of Ghana, other senior government officials, Finance Committee of
Parliament, private sector representatives, and civil society
PRESS OFFICER: Lucie Mboto Fouda Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: MEDIA@IMF.org @IMFSpokesperson © 2021 International Monetary Fund. All rights reserved.
Source: https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2021/05/14/mcs051421-ghana-imf-staff-mission-concludes-2021-article-iv-discussions

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