Ghana Revises Target for Fiscal Deficit Higher to 7.3% of GDP

Ghana revised its target for the budget deficit this year to 7.3 percent of gross domestic product, wider than the initial estimate of 6.5 percent.

The forecast for government revenue and total grants was reduced to 30.5 billion ($9.2 billion) from 32.4 billion, Minister of Finance Seth Terkper said, according to a copy of his prepared remarks to Parliament. Spending was revised lower to 40.3 billion cedis from 41.2 billion cedis. The initial estimates were made in November.

The fiscal consolidation program “remained on course,” he said. “The positive trend in performance of the economy is beginning to show.”

Ghana’s economy will probably expand 3.5 percent this year, below the initial estimate of 3.9 percent, because of lower-than-expected oil prices, he said. Despite the slowdown, steps taken to contain spending on subsidies and the government wage bill are working as part of the International Monetary Fund program, that included a loan of about $1 billion, he said.

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