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General News
Total public debt hits GHA¢17.2 billion - Governor 2/20/2011

Accra, Feb. 18, GNA - The total public debt as at the end of 2010 stood at about GH¢17.2 billion (38.6 per cent of GDP or $11.8 billion), the Governor of Bank of Ghana, Mr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur said in Accra on Friday. Briefing the press on the decision of the Monetary Policy Committee, Mr Amissah-Arthur said domestic debt of GH¢8.3 billion accounted for nearly 48 per cent (GH¢8.28 billion) while the external debt amounted to $6.2 billion (20.1 per cent of GDP).

He said preliminary data from the Bank of Ghana on the implementation of the 2010 budget indicated that Government budget operations ended in a deficit of GH¢1.7 billion (3.7 per cent of GDP) compared with the target of GH¢1.3 billion (2.9 per cent of GDP).

Total expenditure for 2010 was GH¢8.8 billion (19.7 per cent of rebased GDP) and this was 1.3 per cent above the target of GH¢8.3 billion. The deficit of GH¢1.7 billion together with net foreign loan repayment of GH¢30 million and Tema Oil Refinery Debt Financing of GH¢445 million created a resource gap of GH¢2.1 billion (4.8 per cent of GDP).

On exports, the Governor said, provisional data on the external sector indicated that total exports for 2010 grew strongly to an estimated $7.9 billion, an increase of 35.2 per cent over the level for 2009.

Exports of cocoa beans and products increased by 15.5 per cent to $2.2 billion while Gold exports increased by 49.1 per cent to $3.8 billion. Other exports, including non-traditional exports, increased by 40.7 per cent from $1.2 billion to $1.7 billion.

On the other hand, total imports during last year amounted to $10.7 billion, 33.0 per cent higher than the value recorded in the same period of 2009.

Oil imports amounted to $2.0 billion or 35.5 per cent above the $1.5 billion recorded the previous year.

Capital and intermediate goods accounted for 77.1 per cent of total imports in 2010, compared with 73.7 per cent recorded in 2009. Mr Amissah-Arthur said the current account deficit increased to $2.6 billion compared with a deficit of $1.6 billion recorded for 2009. The capital and financial account which captures official and private flows into the economy as well as portfolio investments increased significantly in 2010 by 37.3 per cent to $4.2 billion.

In 2009, the total flows amounted to $3.1 billion.

The above developments resulted in an overall balance of payments surplus of $1.5 billion compared with a surplus of $1.1 billion recorded in 2009.

Mr Amissah-Arthur said as a result of the improvement of the balance of payments, gross international reserves increased by $1.6 billion to $4.7 billion at the end of December 2010 and to $4.8 billion in January translating, on average, into 3.8 months of import cover for goods and services.

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