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Dr Acquah
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Ghana's trade deficit rose from $954.4 million as at June to S$1,439.45 million at the end of August this year, mainly on account of the widening gap between exports and imports, Dr Paul Acquah, out-going Governor of the Central Bank said on Wednesday.

While imports during the period shot up to $5,268.58 million, exports on the other hand lagged behind reaching $3,829.13 million. Exports of cocoa beans and products from the beginning of the year to August amounted to $1,023.85 million (an annual growth of 7.4 per cent) compared with $953.06 million for the same period in 2008 having (an annual growth of 21.3 per cent).

Cumulative cocoa purchases in the first eight weeks of 2008/09 Light Crop season, which ended on Thursday, September 3, came to 44,930 tonnes, as compared with 16,826 tonnes over the first eight weeks in the light season of the previous crop year. Gold exports for the period amounted to $1,624.99 million compared with $1,601.37 million over the corresponding period of 2008, an annual growth of 1.5 per cent.

Dr Acquah said non-traditional exports amounted to US$729.14 million, compared with US$613.64 million for the same period in 2008, representing an annual growth of 18.8 per cent. Non-oil imports at the end of August this year stood at $4,582.35 million, a decline of 10.5 per cent from the $5,121.55 million for the same period in 2008.

The oil import bill at the end of August increased to $826.20 million, but compared with $1,782.77 million for the same period of 2008, showed a significant annual decline of 53.7 per cent. Capital and intermediate goods together accounted for 68.7 per cent of total imports, down from 69.3 per cent for the same period a year earlier.

Private inward transfers in the first eight months amounted to $5.8 billion, which represents 2.9 per cent increase over those for the same period in 2008, which had risen by 32.0 per cent over the first eight months of 2007. As at September 18, 2009, gross international reserves were at S$2,270.21, including new SDR allocations, and represents 2.2 months cover of imports of goods and services. This compares with S$2,036.22 million in December 2008.

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