CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC RAILS GHANA’S ECONOMY INTO A RECESSION
Ghana’s economy has, for the first time in nearly four decades, experienced a recession for consecutively two quarters of 2020. According to provisional GDP figures by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the economy suffered a contraction as a result of the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic and its associated effect on growth. The figures also showed that Ghana’s economy further contracted again in the third quarter of 2020 by 1.1 percent from a previous -3.2 percent recorded in the second quarter of this year. This meant an economic recession which broke a 37-year long growth cycle. The GSS on its part explained the third quarter contraction is also accredited to the novel coronavirus pandemic's impact on some key growth sectors. The sectors, which are namely the hospitality sector suffered a growth contraction of 62.1 percent which was then followed by the mining and quarrying sector, which also witnessed a contraction of 16.9 percent. The last time Ghana’s economy suffered a recession was in the year 1983 which was at the time largely characterised by political instability, famine and economic unrests. Meanwhile, Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta told Parliament on October this year that economic growth for Ghana is projected to rebound strongly at 5.7 percent in 2021. Also, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected global growth for 2020 to be at 4.4 percent while that of 2021 is projected at 5.2 percent. This follows a contraction in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic with recovery prospects in sight for 2021, making the level of global GDP in 2021 expected to be a modest 0.6 percent above that of 2019.