Ghana Finance Ministry Says Budget Gap to July Exceeds Target

Ghana’s budget deficit missed a target in the first seven months of the year as the government raised less revenue than forecast and exceeded spending plans for goods, services and capital expenditure.

Ghana recorded an overall budget shortfall of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product from January through July, while the target was 3 percent, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website Friday. The International Monetary Fund this month revised Ghana’s budget deficit forecast for 2016 to 5.2 percent of GDP, from 4.8 percent of GDP in May.

The government of the West African nation raised 18.6 billion cedis ($4.7 billion) in taxes, non-tax revenue and grants during the first seven months, below a 20.9 billion cedis target. It spent 1.4 billion cedis on goods and services, exceeding a target of 951.7 million cedis, while capital expenditure was 4.1 billion cedis against a 3.4 billion cedis plan, according to the statement.

Ghana agreed to a $933-million loan package with the IMF in April last year to narrow its budget gap and halt the decline of the currency. On Thursday, the government approved a budget of 11 billion cedis for the first quarter of 2017, compared with revenue and grants of 9 billion cedis for the same period.

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