Ghana's external debt falls to 7.6 billion dollars
4/13/2012 8:32:04 PM -
Accra, April 13, GNA - Ghana's external debt stock declined marginally by 3.3 per cent to 7.6 billion dollars at the end of February 2012 compared to 7.8 billion dollars at the end of December 2011, Central Bank Governor Kwesi Amissah-Arthur said in Accra on Friday.
The stock of domestic debt, however, went up by 6.7 per cent in the first two months of the year to GH¢12.6 billion.
Addressing a press conference to announce the decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Mr Amissah-Arthur said the total public debt stock was estimated at GH¢25.3 billion as at the end of February 2012, up from GH¢24 billion recorded at the end of December 2011.
As a ratio of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total public debt increased to 43 per cent of GDP at the end of February 2012, from 42.6 per cent of GDP at the end of December 2011.
Mr Amissah-Arthur said fiscal data from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning showed that total revenue and grants for the first quarter of 2012 amounted to GH¢ 3.5 billion, a growth of 25.1 per cent over the outturn for the same period in 2011.
Total tax revenue amounted to GH¢ 2.7 billion and was 45.8 per cent higher than the outturn of GH¢ 1.8 billion recorded during the same period in 2011.
He said disbursements of grants during the first quarter amounted to GH¢ 265.8 million.
Total expenditure (including payments made for outstanding commitments) amounted to
GH¢4.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012, out of which recurrent expenditure totalled GH¢2.6 billion against a target of GH¢2.7 billion, driven mainly by higher levels of emoluments.
Domestically-financed capital investment amounted to GH¢ 427.6 million while foreign-financed capital expenditure amounted to GH¢ 178.9 million, 62.8 per cent lower than the target of GH¢ 480.9 million.
These developments resulted in an overall budget deficit on cash basis (including divestiture and discrepancy) of GH¢835.3 million (equivalent to 1.2 per cent of GDP), against budget target of GH¢ 916.5 million (equivalent to 1.3% of GDP), which was financed from domestic and foreign sources.
Mr Amissah-Arthur said Net Domestic Financing amounted to GH¢ 690.7 million, against the target of GH¢ 745.1 million while financing from foreign sources was GH¢ 264.8 million, against a target of GH¢291 million as well as loan repayments amounted to GH¢120.2 million against a target of GH¢ 206 million.
The Governor said the preliminary estimate of total merchandise exports for the first three months of 2012 was 3.8 billion dollars, indicating a year-on-year growth of 22.8 per cent.
He said the growth in export earnings continued to be driven by gold, cocoa beans and crude oil.
Exports of gold amounted to 1.5 billion dollars, cocoa beans 939.8 million dollars and crude oil 689.6 million dollars.
Other exports, including non-traditional exports, amounted to 675.2 million dollars during the period.
Total merchandise imports provisionally amounted to 4.0 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2012, representing a year-on-year growth of 19.8 per cent. Oil imports, including crude, gas and refined products amounted to 457.2 million dollars compared with 692.2 million dollars for the same period of 2011.
Total non-oil imports amounted to 3.6 billion dollars of which capital imports was 781.2 million dollars, intermediate imports 1.7 billion dollars, consumption imports 775.8 million dollars and others 251.8 million dollars.
These developments in the merchandise trade resulted in a trade deficit of 202.1 million dollars compared with a deficit of 246.1 million dollars for the same period in 2011.
The level of Gross International Reserves which stood at 5.4 billion dollars in December 2011, declined to 4.6 billion dollars in January 2012, rose to 4.7 billion dollars in February 2012 and fell to 4.6 billion dollars in March 2012.