Ghana's Economy Expanded at Slowest Pace in 20 Years in 2015

  • GDP rose 4.9% in fourth quarter, faster than pace year ago
  • Ghana targets economic growth rate at 5.4% this year

Ghana’s economy expanded 3.9 percent last year, about the same pace as a year earlier, and near the slowest in 20 years on a drop in oil prices and slumping cocoa production.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, the economy grew 4.9 percent, faster than the 4.5 percent expansion a year earlier, assistant government statistician Baah Wadieh told reporters in the capital, Accra. The economy rose 4 percent in 2014.

Ghana’s economy is struggling as soaring inflation and limited revenue from low crude and gold prices are straining the budget in the world’s second-largest cocoa producer. Cocoa bean output dropped to the lowest in five years in the last season and is on pace to slump more this year. The government expects the economy to expand 5.4 percent in 2016, Finance Minister Seth Terkper said in November.

President John Dramani Mahama vowed to reduce the fiscal deficit to about 5.3 percent of GDP from 7.3 percent in 2015 and restrict spending as part of conditions attached to almost $1 billion of loans from the International Monetary Fund. Mahama is trying to get the economy back on track before the presidential election in November.

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