Ghana’s 2011 Budget Deficit Beats Target at 4.3% of GDP

Ghana’s budget deficit last year was lower than targeted as revenue and grants exceeded expectations, according to the ministry of finance and economic planning.

The gap was 4.3 percent of gross domestic product against a target of 5.1 percent, the ministry said on its website today. Tax collection exceeded the target by 15 percent at 9.8 billion cedis ($5.8 billion), while revenue and grants together totaled 12.9 billion cedis, compared with a target of 11.9 billion, the Accra-based ministry said.

Government spending in West Africa’s second biggest economy after Nigeria was 13.4 billion cedis, lower than a target of 13.5 billion cedis, the ministry said.

Ghana’s economy grew a projected 13.6 percent last year and may expand 9.4 percent this year, Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor said in November. The country is the world’s second- biggest cocoa producer and it became West Africa’s newest oil exporter in December 2010 after production started at the Jubilee field.

Duffor said on Feb. 20 that Ghana will probably have a budget deficit of 4.4 percent of GDP this year, compared with a target of 4.8 percent in the 2012 budget.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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