By Cooper Inveen and Christian Arkolie
ACCRA (Reuters) -Ghana’s economy expanded 4.8% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022, driven by growth in the fishing, manufacturing and education services sectors, data from the country’s statistics service said on Tuesday.
The gold- and cocoa-producing nation, which said in July it would seek IMF support as its balance-of-payments position deteriorated, recorded 4.2% growth in the second quarter of 2021.
Economic growth came in at 3.3% in the first quarter of this year, less than half the 7% growth seen in the last quarter of 2021 as the West African nation battled runaway inflation, a depreciating local currency and high public debt.
“The sharp decline we recorded in the last quarter has been marginally reversed,” government statistician Samuel Kobina Annim said during a press conference.
The government has blamed its woes on a combination of forces, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, as well as U.S. and Chinese economic slumps.
Annim cautioned against seeing recent growth as a reversal of fortunes, however. Growth figures may not fully reflect the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine until the third and fourth quarters of this year, he said.
“Keep in mind that whatever happened in Ukraine in the first quarter of the year and the COVID-19 pandemic have a lot of pass-through effects,” Annim said.
“If you take macroeconomic variables like inflation, like the exchange rate, the potential of a pass-through effect in the third and fourth quarters is high,” he added.
Headline inflation rose 10.4 percentage points in annual terms over the second quarter, while the country’s balance-of-payments deficit swelled from around $935 million in March to nearly $2.5 billion by the end of June.
The nation’s cedi currency, however, which saw rapid depreciation over the latter half of the first quarter, was largely stable over the course of the second. It has since resumed its plunge, having lost around 30% of its value against the dollar since the year began.