Ghana’s economy contracts again in third quarter

Ghana’s economy shrank for a second time in the third quarter, even as the government eased restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Government statistician Samuel Kobina Annim told reporters in the capital Accra that gross domestic product (GDP) decreased 1.1% in the third quarter compared to a similar period last year. The contraction however was lesser than the 3.2% figure recorded in the second quarter.

The data may put the central bank’s projection of 2% to 2.5% growth this year at risk. West Africa’s second largest economy is struggling to rebound from the impact of a coronavirus slump, as many businesses remain shut.

The economy of the world’s largest cocoa producer recorded a 0.3% decline in quarter-on-quarter GDP. The non-oil GDP shrank 0.4% year-on-year in the third quarter while industry declined 5.1% over the same period, compared with a 5.7 contraction in the previous quarter.

Ghana is also facing political uncertainty after its main opposition leader, John Mahama, challenged the results of December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections vowing his party will get them overturned.

The electoral commission said Mahama got 47.4% of total valid votes casts, trailing president Nana Akufo-Addo’s 51.6%.

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