Ghana economy shrinks for the first time in 37 years

Ghana economy shrinks for the first time in 37 years
Emeh Joy

The economy of Ghana shrank 3.2 per cent in the second quarter for the first time in 37 years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the chief statistician said on Wednesday.

The West African country which has a population of about 30 million had imposed a three-week lockdown in major parts of the country including the capital city of Accra, in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Officially, the country declared 45,655 cases of coronavirus and 294 deaths from coronavirus.

The chief statistician, Samuel Kobina Annim told news reporters in Accra that the lockdown has crippled business and affected revenues.

"Even after the restrictions have been lifted, many businesses across sectors have continued to close down", he said.

He said that for the first time since 1983 when the nation suffered a devastating drought, "Ghana's economy has seen a contraction of 3.2 per cent compared with a growth rate of 5.7 per cent in the same quarter in 2019".

Ghana, which is known for its stability and is regarded as a beacon of hope in the region majorly deals in the production and exportation of oil, gold and cocoa.

About 50,000 companies and businesses in the manufacturing sector were directly affected by the restrictions.

The hospitality sector recorded the highest dip in sales, by 76 per cent compared to the same period a year ago, according to Annim.

The statistician was, however, optimistic that the economy would bounce back once the right measures were being put in place.

"It is possible that we are going to see a reversal in the contraction we are seeing", he said.

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