Home » Ghana’s Economy on the Rise as Central Bank Slashes Interest Rate

Ghana’s Economy on the Rise as Central Bank Slashes Interest Rate

The decision marks the first rate cut since 2021 and follows a steady decline in inflation over the past five months.

by Motoni Olodun

Ghana’s central bank has announced a significant cut in its main interest rate, from 30% to 29%, in a move that signals confidence in the country’s economic recovery. The decision, which was made on Monday, January 29, 2024, marks the first rate cut since 2021 and follows a steady decline in inflation over the past five months.

According to the Bank of Ghana Governor, Ernest Addison, the rate cut was motivated by several factors that have supported the disinflation process, such as the tightening monetary policy stance throughout 2023, favorable international crude oil prices, and relative stability in the exchange rate. He also cited the positive results of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Credit Facility (ECF) program, which helped the country restructure its debts and access new financing.

The rate cut is expected to boost economic activity and growth, which have been hampered by the impact of the global pandemic and the domestic debt crisis. Ghana, which is a major producer of cocoa, gold, and oil, defaulted on most of its external debt in December 2022, after servicing costs soared beyond its capacity. The country has since reached a deal with its official creditors to restructure $5.4 billion of loans and is seeking a similar relief from its bondholders, who hold about $13 billion of its debt.

The IMF has projected that Ghana’s economy will grow by 4.7% in 2024, after contracting by 1.1% in 2023 and expanding by 0.9% in 2022. The inflation rate, which peaked at 53.6% in January 2023, has fallen to 23.2% in December 2023 and is expected to ease further to between 13% and 17% by the end of 2024, before gradually returning to the medium-term target range of 6% to 10% by 2025.

The rate cut has been welcomed by analysts and investors, who see it as a sign of improving macroeconomic stability and fiscal discipline. However, some have also cautioned that the central bank will need to maintain a strong policy stance and monitor the potential risks to the inflation outlook, such as rising food prices, exchange rate volatility, and fiscal slippages ahead of the 2025 general elections.

Ghana’s rate cut is in line with the trend of monetary easing in some other African countries, such as Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, which have also lowered their policy rates in recent months to support their economic recovery. However, some countries, such as South Africa, Egypt, and Morocco, have kept their rates unchanged or raised them slightly to curb inflationary pressures and attract foreign capital.

Ghana’s central bank has shown its commitment to restoring the country’s economic health and credibility, as well as creating a conducive environment for business and investment. The rate cut is a positive step towards achieving these goals, but it will also require sustained efforts from the government and other stakeholders to ensure fiscal prudence, debt sustainability, and structural reforms. With these measures in place, Ghana can look forward to a brighter future and a stronger position in the global market.

Source: Reuters

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