Ghana: Encouraging signs despite poor rains

5 min
Stephane Colliac
Stephane Colliac Senior Economist for France and Africa

Economic growth weakened to +6.8% y/y in Q1, after a very strong performance in full-year 2017 (+8.4%), triggered by much lower commodity output growth. Agricultural output grew by just +2.8% y/y in Q1 after +8.5% in Q4 2017. Poor rains were the main trigger and cocoa output should fall short of 2018’s target (700 MT are expected this year, instead of 850 MT). However, Ghana’s overall trends remained positive, since services (two thirds of the economy) grew by +5.2% y/y in Q1, accelerating from +3.4% in Q4. Moreover, the Manufacturing PMI exhibited a genuine increase to 55.8 points in May. This improving momentum in the non-agricultural sector should support overall growth in the next months. All told, poor rains will have an impact on the overall growth performance but it should be marginal, triggering a forecast revision from +9% to +8% for 2018 as a whole.