As the Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) of the Bank of Ghana(BoG) prepares to announce its conclusion for the first time under Governor Dr. Ernest Addison, figures released by the central bank show that the nation added 5 billion cedis to its debt stock.
In its latest Economic and Financial Data, Ghana added GH¢4.5 billion to its debt stock between January and March 2017—which is the first quarter of the year.
By this, the nation’s total debt stock now stands at GH¢127.1 billion, representing 62.5 percent of GDP.
The foreign component of the debt is made up of GH¢71.9 billion while the domestic debt is GH¢55.2 billion.
It is not clear what may have contributed to the GH¢ 4.5 billion to the debt except to say that the depreciation of the cedi has always added on to Ghana’s external debt.
Per the data, the GH¢127.1 billion debt is higher compared to the GH¢103.3 billion recorded in 2016 in the same period.
In terms of debt to GDP ratio, the 2016 figure which was 73 percent is higher compared to this year’s which is 62 percent.
This means that on year to year basis, the debt to GDP ratio has dropped.
Some analysts are hopeful the recent 2.25 billion dollar bond issue for debt restructuring will reflect in the debt stock soon.
On the performance of the local currency, the cedi recorded 1 percent year to date depreciation.
Still on monetary development, the amount of money outside the banking sector hit a 22.3 percent growth compared to the 15.2 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2016.
Foreign currency deposits also increased to 16.6 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to 11.2 percent in the same period in 2016.
In the banking sector, Advances which shows credit to businesses grew from GH¢30 billion in the first quarter of 2016 to GH¢36 billion under the same period.
Non Performing Loans however went up slightly from 18.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2017 which was 19.8 percent.
Total assets of banks stood at GH¢84 billion representing a 31 percent growth rate, while deposits recorded GH¢52.8 billion.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana