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FULL STATEMENT: Mid-year 2015 Budget Review...Growth Projections Revised!   
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The Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, has confirmed that the country’s public budget deficit now stands at GH¢90.0 billion.

Mr. Speaker, Ghana’s total public debt stock, which stood at GH¢53.1 billion (US$24.5 billion) as at end-December 2013, increased to GH¢79.6 billion (US$24.8 billion) at the end of December 2014. Of the total public debt stock, external debt was GH¢44.5 billion (US$13.9 billion) while domestic debt amounted to GH¢35.0 billion (US$10.9 billion), representing 55.96 percent and 44.04 percent of total debt stock, respectively.

“Mr. Speaker, the provisional debt stock as at end May, 2015 stood at GH¢90.0 billion representing 67.53 percent of GDP. This was made up of GH¢53.8 billion and GH¢36.2 billion for external and domestic debt, respectively,” he reveals.

Presenting the 2015 Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Budget Estimates to Parliament on Tuesday, he also outlined the revised 2015 Macroeconomic Targets and Fiscal Framework.

He indicated that Ghana’s expected economic growth of 3.9 percent for 2015 cannot be met

According to him, the country’s overall real GDP growth has now been revised downward to 3.5 percent.

The Finance Minister's 26-page statement presented to Parliament also touched on Ghana’s three-year programme with the International Monetary Fund.

Ghana received an amount of US$114.75 million immediately after the Board’s approval. This was the first tranche of the total amount of US$918 million expected to be disbursed in eight equal instalments over the 3-year period as balance of payments support. The remaining seven (7) disbursements will be made after the observance of the performance criteria and completion of reviews under the Programme. Following the anticipated approval by its Board, we expect the release of the second tranche by the IMF soon.”

Mr. Terkper said the government has revised the overall budget deficit target from 6.5 percent of GDP to 7.3 percent, adding that the Gross International Reserves is projected to remain at not less than 3 months of import cover.

Mr. Speaker, developments in both the domestic and global economic environment have necessitated a revision of the macroeconomic framework and targets in the 2015 Budget.

“While the situation has started to improve, the recent exchange rate depreciation due to high outflows of foreign exchange, and the rising inflation posed downside risks to the achievement of the growth target for the year. This situation is, however, certain to improve,” he explained.

Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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