Ghana’s GDP contracts by 5.1 percent

By Lawrence Quartey

Posted on June 23, 2011 07:19

Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted significantly by 5.1 percent for the first quarter of 2011 compared to a 5.5 percent growth in the last quarter of 2010.

Ghana Government Statistician, Dr Grace Bediako, on Wednesday said the decline was largely due to a weak performance in the agriculture sector, which shrank by 35.7 percent on the back of a strong seasonal production pattern.

“The cyclical trend in agriculture output in the first quarters of 2011 led to a decline of 35.7 percent. All the subsectors declined in output as follows: crops 36.5 percent, livestock 31.7 percent, forestry and logging 41.3 percent and fishing 19.5 percent,” Dr Bediako said.

However, the Government Statistician said the negative growth was characteristic of the first and second quarters of each year in the country. On quarter to quarter basis, the industry sector recorded the highest growth of 21.4 percent among the major sectors.

Within the industry sector, mining and quarrying rebounded from the previous quarter decline with the introduction of crude oil, increasing the subsector’s output by 136.1 percent. Construction output rose by 21.3 percent and electricity by 3.2 percent.

Output of manufacturing and water fell by 7 and 1.2 percent respectively to offset increases in the industry sector.?

The service sector saw output rising by 5.3 percent in the first quarter mainly due to significant contribution from the transport and storage, hotels and restaurants and business services.

There were, however, declines in the output of financial intermediation, down 16 percent, and trade, lower by 4.1 percent.

For estimates on year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2011, Dr Bediako said it showed a 23 percent growth in GDP compared to the same period in 2010, citing crude oil production and increased cocoa production.

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