IMF scores Ghana high marks on 3rd bailout review

IMF scores Ghana high marks on 3rd bailout review

A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which visited Ghana from April 27-May 11, 2016 to conduct discussions on the third review of Ghana’s financial and economic programme, supported by the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF), has lauded Ghana for largely keeping to the terms of the deal, a report by classfmonline said on Thursday.

According to the report, the head of the IMF team, Toujas-Bernaté, said at the end of the visit that Implementation of the programme so far remains broadly satisfactory and that most of end-December 2015 performance criteria were met, with the exceptions of small deviations in the wage bill and net domestic assets of Bank of Ghana (BOG).

He said despite the more difficult global environment, with lower commodity prices and domestic power shortages, economic growth in 2015 was close to four percent, slightly higher than expected.

He said Inflation, which remained still high at 19.2 per cent in March 2016, was being affected by the increase in utility tariffs, energy sector levies and transportation costs, but that core inflation had started to decline.

Mr Toujas-Bernaté added that the required fiscal adjustment was on track, with the overall cash deficit improving from 10.6 percent of GDP in 2014 to 6.7 percent of GDP in 2015, and the primary balance close to zero, from a deficit of 4.4 per cent of GDP in 2014.

“On a commitment basis, the adjustment is stronger still reflecting larger-than-programmed repayments of arrears. The authorities have also made progress in implementing fiscal structural reforms, although at a slower pace than expected in some areas,” he said.

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The ECF is a lending arrangement that provides sustained programme engagement over the medium to long term in case of protracted balance of payments problems. The arrangement for Ghana in an amount equivalent to SDR 664.20 million (180 percent of quota or about US$918 million) was approved on April 3, 2015.

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