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Ghana to cut 2017 spending as it struggles to raise revenue

Aug 21 2017 14:36
Ekow Dontoh, Bloomberg

Accra - Ghana plans to cut spending this year as weak revenue collections are the “Achilles’ heel” in getting its accounts to balance, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said.

“We are trying to contain expenditures as much as we can,” Ofori-Atta said at a conference on Monday in the capital, Accra. In July, the West African nation trimmed the budget-deficit forecast to this year 6.3% of gross domestic product from 6.5%.

Constant overspending prompted the country to turn to the International Monetary Fund for almost $1bn in budget support in 2015 after lower prices for its gold, cocoa and oil exports caused debt to balloon and the currency to decline against the dollar while regular power cuts weighed on the economy.

The budget deficit exceeded 10% of GDP for three straight years through 2014, and was 9.4% last year, almost double the initial target.

The world’s second-biggest cocoa producer plans to cut its fiscal deficit as it seeks to raise investor confidence eroded by the announcement in January of a 7 billion-cedi hole in the budget.

In July, the Finance Ministry cut the revenue target for this year to 43.1 billion cedis from the original 45 billion cedis.

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ghana  |  africa economy
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