Friday, April 11, 2014

Bearish economic figures thrown up

The country’s pace of economic expansion slowed to 7.1 percent in 2013, as consumer inflation jumped to 14.5 percent in March, Ghana Statistical Service’s (GSS) latest data says.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded at 8.8 percent in 2012. The 2013 figure, which is less than the government’s target of 7.4 percent, was due to continuous decline in the agricultural contribution to overall GDP rate during the period.

Accordingto GSS, the economic growth in 2013, exceeding oil production, stood at 6.5 percent while the revised third quarter 2013 economic growth rose to 4.9 percent from 0.3 percent. The growth helped per capita income rise to US$1,838 in 2013 from US$1,603 in 2012.

The last quarter of the 2013 recorded a GDP growth of 4.9%. Oil GDP for 2013 was at GH¢93.4625billion, recording an increase from 2012’s GH¢74.959billion.  Non-Oil GDP for 2013, however, was at GH¢89.545billion from the GH¢71.6269 billion recorded in 2012.

The Services sector continues to power the country’s economy as GDP in that sector grew by 8.9 percent year-on-year in the period, with Industry expanding by 7 percent while Agriculture recorded marginal growth of 5.2 percent.

The Agricultural sector’s contribution to GDP continued to decline, from 23 percent in 2012 to 22 percent in 2013. 

Industry’s contribution now stands at 28.57 percent while Services continues to increase, from 48.4 percent to 49.5 percent.The GDP growth for the third quarter of last year has been revised from 0.3 percent to 4.9 percent, while the provisional fourth quarter GDP growth is at 4.9 percent.

Government has forecast an expansion of 8 percent in GDP this year, and is aiming to tame a significant deficit that has been fuelling inflationary pressure. 

The GSS’s March 2014 inflation rate showed that the figure rose from 14.0 percent in February to 14.5 percent in March.

This is highest since 2010, representing an increase of 0.4 percent from the previous months’ figure.
The non-food group inflation rate increased from 19 percent to 19.2 percent in March, attributed mainly to housing, water and electricity which together recorded an inflation rate of 43.8 percent. The Transport sub-group also recorded an inflation rate of 27.3 percent.

The Food and non-alcholic beverages group recorded an increase in the year on year inflation rate from 7.5 percent to 8.2 percent. Mineral water and soft drinks recorded a rate of 18 percent, while the coffee, tea and cocoa sub-group recorded a rate of 12.3 percent.

Government Statistician, Dr. Philomena Nyarko, speaking at a media conference in Accra to officially announce the quarterly GDP figures for the fourth quarter 2013, explained that the Agricultural sector recorded an overall growth rate of 4.8 percent in the 4th quarter compared to 0.3 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2013. 

She said the economic activity in the Crop and cocoa sub-sector as well as Forests and logging, showed a slow growth of negative 0.3 percent and negative 12.5 percent respectively.This was due to declines in food production and forestry plantation investment. 

However, Livestock and fishing increased by 86.8 percent and 10.1 percent respectively. These trends are partly due to seasonal effects.

Dr. Nyarko indicated that activities in the Industry sector resulted in a growth rate of negative 1.3 percent compared to negative 9.8 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2013.

This was due to an increase in the production of gold by 20.7 percent and manganese by 26.5 percent compared to negative 6.1 percent and negative 19.0 percent respectively in the 3rd quarter of 2013.

The production of crude oil and its activities such as the development of the oil-wells was up by 5 percent in the 4th quarter, compared to negative 15 percent recorded in the 3rd quarter during the same period.

On the manufacturing sub-sector, she stated that the sector recorded a negative growth of 19.0 percent over the 3rd quarter’s negative growth rate of 14.0 percent. This was partly due to a decline in the manufacture of refined petroleum products by 51.2 percent, rubber and plastics products by negative 20.5 percent, and wood products by 6.7 percent.

Within the Services sector, activities led to an overall growth rate of 2.1 percent in the 4th quarter of 2013 compared to 3.6 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2013.

This was due to low turnover recorded in transport and storage activities, leading to a decline from 6.2 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2013 to 4.1 percent in the 4th quarter.

Trade activities from 2.6 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2013 to negative 3.4 percent in the 4th quarter of 2013; and business activities from 7.3 percent in the 3rd quarter to negative 5.5 percent in the 4th quarter of 2013.

However, public administration and education rose from negative 2.6 percent 0.7 percent respectively in the 3rd quarter of 2013 to 1.9 percent and 5.7 percent respectively in the 4th quarter last year.

Tigo appoints new General Manager

Millicom Ghan,a operator of Tigo, has announced the appointment of Roshi Motman as its new General Manager, effective 1st April 2014. 
She will replace Adil El Youssefi, who takes up a senior role outside the Group.
Roshi joins Tigo after almost 10 years with various companies in the Kinnevik Group, a key investor in Millicom.  

She progressed in a variety of management roles at Tele2 in Sweden, covering Product Management, Sales and most recently Customer Operations.  

Prior to Tele2, Roshi was responsible for the development of mobile entertainment at Modern Times Group, parent company of TV channel Viasat. 

She studied Electrical Engineering and Business Development at Chalmers University in Göteborg, Sweden.

Commenting on the appointment, Arthur Bastings, Millicom’s Executive Vice-President for Africa, said: “Roshi takes the helm as Tigo continues its journey of transformation as a digital lifestyle company.  We are looking forward to benefitting from her track-record of innovative and customer-centric leadership”.

In a message to Tigo’s staff, Mr. Bastings praised Adil El Youssefi as being instrumental to the recent growth of the firm and warmly wished him well in his new role outside the group. 

Motman added: “I really look forward to joining the team in Accra to help make Tigo an even stronger brand that offers attractive digital services to Ghana’s consumers. I am excited to take on this challenge together with my colleagues and our stakeholders in Ghana”.

Gov't ready to partner investors to build gold refinery

Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, says government is ready to partner any investor to help establish a gold refinery plant for adding value to the country’s gold.

“It is unfortunate that a country that was branded as the Gold Coast by our colonial masters has not been able to brand Ghana’s gold,” he said.

Alhaji Fuseini said this when Mr. Jeeva Sagar, Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, called on him to discuss how the two countries can strengthen their bilateral relationship.

He stressed the need to build partnerships to provide linkages that will move Ghana's development agenda forward.

Mr. Sagar expressed India’s commitment to supporting the human resource development of the country. “As we put value on education, India will continue to support Ghana in capacity building,” he said.