An uptick in investor sentiment, the launch of the TEN oilfields and the waning of the electricity crisis will lead to an uptick in real GDP growth in Ghana in 2016, following two years of macroeconomic turmoil. We forecast expansion of 4.9% and 5.8% in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The November 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana will be closely contested between incumbent John Mahama and primary challenger Nana Akufo-Addo. President Mahama will seek to present himself as strong on corruption and policy failure in the coming months, but cutting the fiscal deficit while retaining support will take careful balancing.
The Bank of Ghana's (BoG)'s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) opted to leave its key policy rate unchanged at 26.00% at its January meeting, indicating to us that it has in fact reached the end of its hiking cycle. We now expect that rates will be maintained at current levels through H1 before 100bps of cuts are enacted in the second half of the year, taking the year-end policy rate to 25.00%.
The Ghanaian government is implementing some difficult reforms in 2016, which will help it to bring in the budget deficit even while the global price of oil - on which the government is becoming increasingly reliant for revenues - is looking extremely weak. These new tax measures will see the deficit continue to decline over the next several years, so long as the government stands its ground - particularly as the November 2016 presidential elections approach. We forecast the shortfall will be equivalent to 6.4% of GDP in 2016, and 5.2% in 2015.
Ghana's current account deficit in 2016 and 2017 will be wider than we had previously anticipated, thanks to a dimmer outlook for the country's primary commodity exports, oil in particular. We forecast that the deficit will stand at 7.2% of GDP in 2016 and 6.7% in 2017, following an estimated 8.4% in 2015. While our expectation of a diminishing shortfall remains, the deficit will not be reduced as quickly as we projected in our last quarterly report. We had expected that the deficit would fall from a projected 8.0% of GDP in 2015 to 6.9% in 2016 and 5.9% in 2017.
If the government fails to abide by the IMF's conditionality following the deal finalised in early 2015, investor sentiment will sour severely.
The Ghanaian cedi remains vulnerable amid the sizeable current account deficit and could depreciate more swiftly than we anticipate.
Mismanagement of oil revenues - perhaps stemming from insufficient institutional capacity - could dent investor perceptions.
|e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: National Sources|
|Real GDP growth, % y-o-y||4.0||3.4||5.2||5.8|
|Nominal GDP, USDbn||35.4||36.2||39.6||44.7|
|Consumer price inflation, % y-o-y, eop||17.0||17.7||13.3||11.3|
|Exchange rate GHS/USD, eop||3.22||3.81||4.23||4.46|
|Budget balance, % of GDP||-6.3||-7.2||-6.4||-5.2|
|Current account balance, % of GDP||-9.4||-8.4||-7.3||-6.9|
The Ghana Country Risk Report helps businesses with market assessment, strategic planning and decision making to promote growth and profitability in Ghana. It is an essential tool for CEOs, Chairmen, Finance Directors/CFOs, Managing Directors, Marketing/Sales Directors with commercial interests in this emerging market.
An influential new analysis of Ghana's economic, political and financial prospects through end-2019, just published by award-winning forecasters, BMI Research.
- Forecast the pace and stability of Ghana's economic and industry growth through end-2019.
- Identify and evaluate adverse political and economic trends, to facilitate risk mitigation.
- Assess the critical shortcomings of the operating environment that pose hidden barriers and costs to corporate profitability.
- Contextualise Ghana's country risks against regional peers using BMI's country comparative Risk Index system.
- Evaluate external threats to doing business in Ghana, including currency volatility, the commodity price boom and protectionist policies.
BMI provides our fully independent 5-year forecasts for Ghana through end-2019 for more than 50 economic and key industry indicators. We evaluate growth, and also forecast the impact of economic management.
Economic Outlook Contents
The Ghana Country Risk Report features BMI's forecasts with supporting analysis for 2015 through to end-2019, set against government views and BMI's evaluation of global and regional prospects.
Key Areas Covered:
- Full 10-year forecasts with data - for key macroeconomic variables including GDP (real growth and per capita), population, inflation, current account balance and the exchange rate.
- BMI's comprehensive Risk Index system - rates each country worldwide for economic and political risk, and rates the business environment, within a global and regional context.
- Economic Activity - real GDP growth, employment, inflation, consumption (retail sales and confidence).
- Balance of Payments - trade and investment, current and capital account.
- Monetary Policy - interest rate trends (bank lending and deposit rates) and inflation (producer price and consumer price).
- Exchange Rate Policy - currency controls, foreign investment flows, exchange rates and foreign exchange reserves.
- Fiscal Policy - macroeconomic strategy and policies, government finance and tax reforms.
- Foreign Direct Investment - approvals, inflows and climate.
- External Debt - debt profile (short and long-term plus public and private sector obligations).
- Global Assumptions - forecasts for each year to end-2019 covering: major commodities, growth in key regions, inflation, and interest and exchange rates, in the United States, Japan, China and the eurozone.
- Rely upon BMI's 100% independent forecast scenarios for Ghana and underlying assumptions - we take no advertising and are privately-owned.
- Exploit the benefits of BMI's comprehensive and reliable macroeconomic database on Ghana, sourced and fully maintained by BMI from an extensive network of private sector, government and multilateral contacts.
- Gain key insights into the current and future direction of government economic policy, which could significantly affect your company's business prospects, from BMI's team of analysts and economists.
What are the political risks to doing business in Ghana over the next 5-years?
BMI's Ghana country Risk Index evaluates the short- and medium-term threats to political stability.
Political Outlook Contents
- SWOT Analysis for the Ghana Market - Political Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing Ghana.
- Political Stability and Risk Assessment - BMI's Risk Index assesses explicit short- and long-term risks to political stability; latest positioning and trends for Ghana's risk are compared with regional and global averages.
- Current Administration and Policy-making BMI assesses the threats to the continuity of economic policy, and likely changes to the business operating environment.
- Long-Term Political Outlook BMI examines the structural risks to the stability of Ghana’s political system and the dominant public policy issues likely to affect decision-makers, and outlines scenarios for how the state could evolve in the medium to long term.
- Benchmark Ghana's risk profile against its neighbours, the global and regional average, allowing easy comparison of risks between key business markets.
- Identify, evaluate and anticipate political and security risks to the business environment, and to your company's current operations and future plans.
- Gain valuable insights into government and policy-making, through BMI's specialist team of analysts and economists, and their network of private and public sector sources.
What are the current operational risks and difficulties associated with doing business in Ghana?
The Operational Risk section gives an evaluation of current risks and difficulties associated with operating in the market. It also provides a brief overview of the regional Operational Risk Index which benchmarks Ghana against its neighbours.
Operational Risk Contents
The chapter provides a summary of the main threats in the country, within:
- Labour Market Risk (Education; Availability of Labour; and Labour Costs)
- Logistics Risk (Market Size and Utilities; Quality and Extent of the Transport Governance)
- Trade and Investment Risk (Economic Openness; Government Intervention; and Legal Risks)
- Crime and Security Risk (Crime; Terrorism; and Interstate Conflict risks).
The report also drills down in greater depth to address key issues in one of the following segments most critical to the market:
- Transport network, economic openness, cost and availability of labour, crime risks, bureaucratic environment, market size and utilities, and interstate conflict.
- Assess your company’s exposure to country specific operational and business risks, using BMI’s insight on the current dangers of operating in the market.
- Evaluate Ghana’s risk profile against its regional peers, helping you understand the market’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to other countries.