Predictions for the economy in 2018

What a year! A rally in stocks, an economic recovery, new social interventions. What does 2018 hold? To find out, I reached out to some smart young analysts to put in their predictions. They were generous enough to put in submissions despite the short notice and I am grateful to them for taking the time. As usual, I add my predictions in the end. This is the third time I’m doing this on CediTalk after the predictions in 2016 and 2015. Do you agree with the predictions? Have any thoughts? Drop them in the comments. Enjoy!

Bassit Abdul- Rahman


Bio: Operation support analyst at GCB (E-banking department) and occasionally interested in the capital markets.

With the increase in capital requirements for banks to 400 million, its observed only one bank (GCB) meets this new requirement, I expect that, this creates some opportunities for banks and investors to consider mergers and acquisitions to enable them be able to partake in big ticket transactions. Can further boost profitability in the banking sector and the economy at large.

The tax stamp policy is to kick off next year and the already introduced paperless system at Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority, I expect to see improving tax administration by reducing revenue leakages medium term. Also there is a possibility we can see the relaunch of the national identification and the digital address system already in place should aid in the revenue collection by the GRA to broaden the tax base. This can also go a long way to improve simplicity in the retail banking space.

We are also seeing a resurgence in the performance of the GSE after two years of negative returns due to improving macroeconomic fundamentals which impacted this said resurgence. I expect this to continue next year due to the GDP estimated at about 8.4%. The consistent decline of interest rates in the money market should push investor focus to the equities market.

Mohammed Tawfiq Bidder


Bio: Mohammed Tawfiq Bidder is a farmer and Head of Research and Development at SuCes Hub Consult.

I agree with the many reputable institutions including the World Bank‘s positive forecast of Ghana’s economy in 2018.

Perhaps the most important indicator of the health of the economy for most Ghanaians is employment. Employment should surge as government’s policies on boosting employment begin fruition.

I expect government’s policies to reduce business costs to offset the effects of the ever weak cedi. This coupled with low food inflation as a dividend of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme should make life less expensive for the average consumer.

The downward trend of inflation and interest rates coupled with bank’s readiness to meet the BoG minimum capital requirement as soon as possible should make available more capital for investments. Stock prices should also inch higher.

David Quartey

Bio: David Quartey is a Service Personnel at Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER). He’s a self-taught R programmer and writes about Ghana-related issues at https://medium.com/simpleeconomics

For 2018, increasing oil revenues will prove a challenge as maintenance work on some FPSOs commences, stifling oil-induced growth. Medium term inflation target of 8±2% should be within reach as inflation expeditions dampen and business confidence in the economy increases. If tariffs are reduced as the 2018 Budget anticipates, industries will see some growth. With lower tariffs, electricity demand will increase to mop up surplus electricity generated but we will see power distributors like Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) finance issues deepen. Banks will merge to meet the new capital requirement. Government spending will be more loose in 2018, after the administration’s first year in office.

Baroness Boakye

Bio: Baroness is a Technology Consultant with a passion for finance and technology. She is currently studying an International Business MSc and regularly writes about personal finance to encourage young people to save and invest wisely. Accra is always on her mind so you can find her talking about her life in London and Accra on her podcast ACC to LDN.

The key theme for next year is maintaining stability. Previous years have seen severe fluctuations in the currency and inflation highlighting a weak economy. A stable currency should also see a reduction in inflation and maintaining low interest rates. The government’s aim to reduce inflation to 8% by end of 2018 in my opinion is ambitious (currently at ~11.7%). 9-10% is more likely. Low, stable inflation should equal higher domestic and foreign investment, therefore resulting in GDP growth. The biggest expectation is with unemployment based on the current administration’s focus on job creation; a significant decrease is expected in both overall and youth unemployment. Something that is often overlooked but requires major improvement is the current process to establish and protect property rights. Currently very inefficient and probably stifling potential investment. Hopefully with the government’s penchant for digital, this also receives the “digital” overhaul it desperately needs, removing all middle persons. All in all, 2018 is gearing to put Ghana’s economy in a healthier state for sustained long term GDP growth.

Andrews Akoto


Bio: FX Swap Trader at Barclays Africa Group Ltd.

Ghana’s macros markedly improved in 2017, earning her favourable ratings revisions. In my view, the strong recovery should continue into 2018. I expect interest rates across the yield curve to continue on the downtrend, with the MPC maintaining its dovish posture as headline inflation declines towards the government’s 8±2% target band. Disinflation is however likely to decelerate steadily as base effects wane, and as credit easing and tax reliefs—geared towards stimulating growth—boost money supply. I see oil being the major driver of GDP growth again in 2018, more so should OPEC’s production cut extension have the intended effect. I also see extended currency resilience on the back of a shored up reserve, favorable balance of payments (as exports grow with the expanding industry sector), and a sustained offshore investor interest in cedi assets.

WILFRED AGYEI

Wilfred Agyei is the Senior Analyst, Corporate Finance & Research at UMB Investment Holdings Ltd. He has progressive experiences in financial markets analysis and reviews, economic, industry, company specific analysis, business valuations, financial due diligence, and forecasting for investment decision making. His economic articles and publications won UMB Stockbrokers the best Research House of the Year in the 2017 Ghana Investment Banking Awards. He was also adjudged the Most Impressive Young Investment Banking Professional of the Year (Silver), and Research Analyst of the Year (Bronze). He is licensed as a Dealer’s representative by the Securities and Exchange Commission Ghana

GDP GROWTH

The Ghanaian economy is expected to record upbeat growth in 2018, chiefly driven by expansionary economic policies, gradual pickup in commodity prices, as well as a boost in oil and gas production. Renewed investor confidence on the back of improving macroeconomic fundamentals and accommodative business policies being championed by the Ghana Investment Promotion Center is expected to see foreign direct investments surge. Overall, I project GDP to grow at 7.1% in 2018.

INFLATION, POLICY RATE AND INTEREST RATES

With respect to inflation, the expected movement of the base year of the CPI from 2012 to 2017 is in the right direction as this will better reflect the current economic situation. Government has targeted an average..read more.

Jerome Kuseh

Bio: Associate at GN Accounting & Financial Reporting. Founder & Editor of CediTalk. ICAG. MSc Economics student at KNUST.

2018 will see the government struggle with fiscal discipline as social interventions & revenue underperformance take a toll on the deficit. Economic growth will however continue and help stabilize the public debt situation. GRA’s tax campaign will mean greater compliance pressure on businesses.

Stocks will continue the good performance as reducing inflation, lower yields on government debt and lower borrowing costs drive demand. There will also be new listings and reissues as banks comply with new minimum capital requirements.

The US tax bill is likely to attract foreign investment and drive up the value of the dollar, bringing more pain to the cedi. However, the currency will be shored by the economic recovery and recovering oil prices.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Jerome Kuseh

Accountant | Economist-in-Training | Finance Blogger
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