2016 is crucial for Ghana. It’s an election year in the middle of a slump in commodity prices and an extended credit facility with the IMF. With that in mind I contacted some analysts to give their predictions for the economy and general business environment for next year. I also add mine. I’m grateful to them for taking the time to send in their submissions.
Jemila Abdulai is an international development and media consultant as well as the creative director of Circumspecte (www.jabdulai.com), a a platform dedicated to meaningful insights, conversations and creative projects linked to Africa(ns). She has an MA in International Economics & International Affairs from Johns Hopkins SAIS and tweets frequently (@jabdulai).
Prediction: Various agencies project a 2% increase in Ghana’s real GDP growth in 2016 (from 3.9%). I’m a bit skeptical about such a “bounce back” although I do expect increased economic activity due partly to spending ahead of elections and (fingers-crossed) less dumsor as electricity sources come online alongside government’s attempts at saving face with electorate (read sarcastically). Foreign investment will be in measured doses as is typically case with election year. Unfortunately I don’t see public debt to GDP improving anytime soon unless government can pull a hat trick on the spending front. Average citizen won’t feel much difference unless there are drastic changes in global economy.
Abdul-Manaf Ben Mohammed
Abdul-Manaf is a Stock Analyst at Worldwide Securities Limited and an ICAG-qualified Accountant.
Prediction: In election years, investments, especially from foreign outfits are discouraged. This is characteristic of most African countries. It is difficult to predict how the economy will fare by considering just these. The stock market has had stocks like ALW, FML, EGL showing great price appreciation since the start of the year. Some stocks saw a depreciation in prices due to bonus and rights issues, and there are some that generally performed poorly. The GSE is trying to make the market lucrative and create confidence in the market. This is reflective of the number of small and medium scale businesses that listed on the GAX during the year. As the awareness is created, investors will be attracted to the market. I see this having a positive effect on the market going into 2016. I expect the market to perform way better than it has already done this year.
Abena Y. Awuku
Abena is a writer and a student of International Business & Management Studies in the Netherlands.
Prediction: Although Ghana’s economy is heavily reliant on agriculture and perhaps mining, the industrial sector accounts for a sizeable portion of GDP but its progress is being held back by energy shortages. With the growth in the real estate market, perhaps tourism might be our saving grace next year. Otherwise with the uncomfortable continuous increase in inflation and unemployment, competitiveness within the economy remains threatened.
Terry Budu Abban
Prediction: Karpower’s 215.22MW addition to the national grid has stabilized the supply of electricity to my area for the past five days. I expect this to continue throughout the first quarter of 2016. Paying more for power is obvious now; mismanagement beckons, but the sight on elections will probably ensure that power supply is sustained. It wouldn’t surprise me though if we see a sudden drop in fuel prices somewhere next year. There were reports early this year that investors were not enthused about our bonds. Well, if anything at all, macroeconomic indices have worsened. I was firm about the depreciation of the Cedi by end of year even though we witnessed what seemed like a miraculous gain by the Cedi against the Dollar. I expect the Cedi to continually depreciate in 2016! The recent Budget Statement forecasts some tax hikes, worse so in withholding taxes. 2016 will probably witness an all-time high inflation in this country! Read the full prediction on economistaterry.com.
Jerome W. Kuseh
Jerome writes economics, finance and accounting articles for ceditalk.com and politics on jeromekuseh.com. He is a digital media executive with Business & Financial Times and an ICAG-qualified accountant.
Prediction: The normalisation of US monetary policy took a major turn with the recent Fed rate hike. Further hikes are expected next year, sure to strengthen the dollar and make Ghana’s dollar-denominated interest payments more difficult. It will also increase the yield investors demand for our bonds. The commodity price slump will continue. That, as well as the spending in an election year will make Ghana miss deficit targets. I expect the BoG to keep hiking rates to try to control inflation and currency depreciation. I expect GRA to continue to increase domestic revenue collection. Hopefully dumsor too ends.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR!