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Posted on Thursday, 23 June 2016 12:51

Ghana records 4.9% economic growth in first quarter

By Dasmani Laary

Photo©ReutersGhana's economy grew by 4.9 percent in the first quarter of this year as it showed some improvement from the 2015 figures, the country's statistical office said on Wednesday.

Last year, the West African country's economy grew by 4.5 percent during the same period.

In the 2016 first quarter, annual agricultural production grew by 2.8 percent, compared with 1.7 percent in the three months through December.

Growth in the services sector including telecommunication and hospitality quickened to 8.8 percent from 5.2 percent, government statistician Philomena Nyarko told journalists.

"We had significant shifts in the growth of the power sector as well as some components of the services group," he added.

The country's gross domestic product grew by 3.9 percent last year with government pegging its growth target at 5.4 percent for 2016.

Economic growth in the country known for its mass production of gold, oil and cocoa has largely been hampered by falling global metals and oil prices.

Chronic power shortages and local currency instability have also worsened the situation.

In 2015, the government signed a three-year $918 million programme with the International Monetary Fund to steady the economy and create job opportunities for teaming jobless youths.

The country's gross domestic product grew by 3.9 percent last year with government pegging its growth target at 5.4 percent for 2016.

President John Dramani Mahama and central bank officials have been making pledges to tighten the fiscal consolidation measures and reinvigorate the economy as crucial presidential and legislative elections draw closer.

However, Ghana's expected return to price stability suffered setback after the release of inflation rate figures last week showing an increase of 18.9 percent in May from 18.7 percent in recorded in the previous month.



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