ICT Lifted Ghana’s GDP Growth To 5.4 Percent In 2021

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Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

West Africa’s second largest economy, Ghana, expanded by 5.4% in 2021, a 1 percentage point higher than government’s revised growth projection for last year, driven by the Services sector, particularly the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sub-sector.

The expansion last year was far higher than the 0.4% recorded in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic severely hit the global and domestic economies.  Without oil, the economy recorded a GDP growth rate of 6.9 percent last year.  According to the Ghana Statistical Service, only 10 countries in Africa recorded growth rates higher than that of Ghana in 2021.

The Services sector recorded the highest GDP growth rate of 9.4% in 2021. Within the services sector, the Information & Communication sub-sector recorded the highest year-on-year GDP growth rate of 33.1% while the Education sub-sector recorded the lowest, a contraction of 3.7%.  Hotels and Restaurants as well as Financial and Insurance Activities grew by 4.3% and 2.4% respectively.

The Agriculture sector grew at a rate of 8.4% in 2021. The Fishing sub-sector recorded the highest year-on-year growth rate of 13.4 %, while the Forestry and Logging sub-sector recorded the lowest (4.7%). Livestock and Crops recorded growth rates of 5.5% and 8.9%, respectively.

Industry however, contracted by 0.8% in 2021. This was influenced by contraction in the Mining and Quarrying sub sector (12.1%). The Water & Sewerage sub-sector recorded the highest year-on-year annual GDP growth rate of 13.3% in 2021.

The provisional data show that Manufacturing, Electricity and Construction expanded by 7.8%, 7.4% and 5.7% respectively. The size of the economy stood at GH₵459.130 billion as at the end of December last year.

Year-on-year growth rates in 4th quarter of 2021

Provisional real quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, including Oil and Gas, was 7.0% (year-on-year) in the fourth quarter (October to December) of 2021. In the same period of 2020, the growth was 4.3%. However, GDP growth rate without oil and gas (Non-Oil GDP) for Q4 2021 was 7.6% which compares to the same period in 2020 with a growth rate of 5.7%.

The Agriculture sector recorded the highest growth of 8.2%, followed by the Services sector with a growth of 8.1%. The Industry sector expanded by 4.8 percent in 2021.

Main sub-sectors that expanded in quarter four of 2021 are: Information & Communication (52.3%); Water Supply, Sewerage, Waste Management & Remediation Activities (21.7%); Fishing (21.2%); Electricity (15.4%); Hotel & Restaurants (12.3%); Real Estate (10.5%); and Manufacturing (9.9%).

Despite the strong growth in Q4 2021, two sub-sectors – Health and Social Work (-13.1%) and Education (-6.1%)-  contracted in the last quarter.

The GDP estimate at current prices in purchaser’s value for Q4 2021 was GH¢128,623.4 million compared to GH¢106,536.2 million in Q4 2020. The Non-oil GDP estimate at current prices for the 4th quarter of 2021 was GH¢122,642.8 million compared to GH¢102,988.5 million in the 4th quarter of 2020.

With regards to GDP sectoral shares, the Services sector continued to be the largest sector of the Ghanaian economy as of Q4 2021 with a share of 50 percent of GDP at basic prices. The GDP share of Industry and Agriculture were 29 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

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