Weak petroleum revenue pushes Ghana to miss fiscal deficit target

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Seth Terpker, Finance Minister.
Seth Terpker, Finance Minister.

Ghana is set to miss the 5-percent fiscal deficit target set for the 2016 fiscal year due to shortfalls in petroleum revenue and foreign exchange flows, Finance Minister Seth Terkper said Wednesday.

Addressing the media, Terkper explained that the withholding of some budget support from Ghana was also part of the causes of missing the target.

“We have had some slippage at the end of the year with regards to fiscal deficit which is likely to be 1. 5 percentage points to 2.0 percentage points higher than was projected,” Terkper said.

According to him the country however managed to stabilize the cedi nonetheless as well as shortfalls in gas supply which affected the economy.

The production vessel FPSO Kwame Nkrumah had in the second quarter experienced turret bearing challenges, significantly reducing oil production on Ghana’s Jubilee field.

“The other factor which affected the performance is some slowdown in the flow of budget support that was linked to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program reviews which as we know was delayed on account of the amendment of the Bank of Ghana Act for which Parliament had to stay,” he added.

Ghana has been in an IMF Extended Credit Facility (ECF) program since March 2015 with restrictions on expenditure and a zero financing of budget deficit from the central bank.

The minister was however optimistic that the difficult days in the economy were drawing to a close and 2017 would see the beginning of better times, based on the work that has been done in the fiscal stabilization and energy sectors. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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