Even though Ghana was named as one of the most corrupt countries in Africa in the latest 'People and Corruption' report conducted by Transparency International alongside South Africa and Nigeria, the outlook for the country in 2016 looks a bit promising.
Groupe Nduom Research (GN Research), which disclosed this in its latest analysis on various economies during the 2015 fiscal year, said though it was concerned about Ghana's economic performance last year, it is slightly optimistic this year “given the possible minimization of the energy crisis, relatively stable cedi and expected rise in government expenditure ahead of the December elections.”
It said the 2015 fiscal year had been challenging for most developing countries, including Ghana.
“Low commodity prices on the world market, coupled with anticipation of a possible increase in U.S key policy rate compelled most central banks to further tighten monetary policy stance. In particular, the Central Bank of Gambia increased its policy rate by 100 basis points to close the year at 23 percent, Malawi by 200 basis points to 27 percent, Kenya by 300 basis points to 11.5 percent and Ghana by 500 basis points to 26 percent.”
It continued that the Ghana cedi, Botswana pula and Kenyan shilling recorded a YTD depreciation of 18.4 percent, 17 percent and13 percent respectively, adding that those translated into increases in prices of goods and services on the domestic market, made most countries less competitive and increased current account deficit to GDP drastically.
“Coupled with an increase in monetary policy rates, consumer price inflation for Ghana and Malawi averaged around 17 percent and 21 percent respectively instead of the 11.5 percent and 16.4 percent target set for 2015.”
It also mentioned that nonetheless, the Central Bank for West African States that serves eight Francophone countries in West Africa and the Central Bank of Egypt kept their rates at 3.5 percent and 9.25 percent respectively.
The Central Bank of Nigeria and Tunisia also reduced the policy rate by 2 percent and 0.5 percent respectively to stimulate real sector growth. Hence, by December 2015, the 91-day Treasury bill rates for Nigeria hovered around 3.65 percent, 2.3 percent for Mauritius, 4.3 percent for Tunisia, 4.5 percent for Rwanda, 10.8 percent for Kenya, 13.6 percent for Tanzania, 17.5 percent for Gambia, 22.5 percent for Malawi and 22.9 percent for Ghana.
By Samuel Boadi