The government fiscal deficit has narrowed significantly for the first nine months of 2014, compared with the corresponding period of last year, according to figures released by the Bank of Ghana.
From January to September of 2014, the overall budget balance registered a deficit of GH6.7 billion representing 5.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), against a target of 6.4 per cent. The deficit was financed from both external and domestic sources; GH4.7 billion and GH2 billion from external and domestic sources respectively.
The preliminary fiscal data indicates that both revenue and expenditure were below their respective targets form the period. The shortfall in revenue was however lower than the shortfall expenditure.
Total revenue and grants realized was GH17.7 billion representing 15.4% of GDP falling short of the target of GH18.4 billion which was 16% of GDP. The shortfall in government receipts was partly due to lower import volumes, decline in commodity prices particularly gold in the world market, and the slowdown in economic activity arising from energy challenges.
Total expenditure, including payments made for the clearance of arrears and outstanding commitments, was GH24.4 billion representing 21.3% of GHP compared with the budgeted ceiling of GH25.8 billion which was 22.5% of GDP.
Compensation of employees summed up to GH7.6 billion against a budget target of GH8.1 billion. Interest payments also totaled GH4.9 billion.
Source: Economy Times
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