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Ghana’s public debt hits GH¢112 billion as at September 2016

The country’s debt stock has reached GH¢112.4 billion as at September this year a summary of economic and financial data released by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has revealed.

This came to the fore after BoG’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) met last week to review the health of the economy.

The new amount, according to the November report shows that from July to September, the public debt has gone up by GH¢6.2 billion.

This is because the last time the Central Bank released the data on these debt stock was up to July 2016.

The increase does not necessarily mean that there have been fresh borrowings by government from July to September.

Other factors like the cedis’ marginal depreciation and possible delays in interest payments could have resulted in the debt numbers recording such a significant increase.

However, there appear to be some discrepancies, with the financial data released by the Bank of Ghana when it comes to the public debt compared its last report issued.

A close look at the data ending September, which was initially released by the Bank during their last MPC meeting, the debt stock as at July was GH¢109.8 billion.

This should mean that from July to September 2016, the debt stock could have increased just been by GH¢2.6 billion.

But a study of the new data put out by the Central Bank ending November, which is based on figures from the Finance Ministry, the debt stock as at July 2016 was GH¢106.2 billion.

August recorded a debt stock of  GH¢109. 3 billion and September was GH¢112.4 billion.

Attempts by JOY BUSINESS to get some explanations from the Finance Ministry and BoG for the debt numbers was unsuccessful.

The new public debt numbers according to the November report released by the Bank of Ghana accounts for about 67.4 percent of the country’s GDP.

For some, this could mean that that the country is likely to meet the IMF’s projection of ending the year with a debt-to-GDP of 66 percent.

Finance Minister Seth Terkper had also disclosed to JOY BUSINESS that he expects the Debt to GDP ratio to reduce significantly by end of year.

He said this is due to some debt management strategies that government is implementing.

A significance reduction in the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio by end of year could impact possibly on Ghana’s credit ratings.

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