The various strategies devised by the economic management team led by Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia have started yielding positive results, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said.
He explained that as a result, taxes had been reduced, inflation and interests rates were been lowered while economic growth was on the rise, increasing from 3.6 per cent in December 2016 to 7.9 per cent in 2017.
President Akufo-Addo who said this in his second State of the Nations Address to Parliament on Thursday gave the assurance that the economy would be better in 2018.
”We have increased our international reserves, maintained relative exchange rate stability, reduced the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio, the rate to debt accumulation and have paid almost half of arrears inherited,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo announced that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which supported extended credit facility programme that started three years ago would end in 2018 and the relative good macro-economic performance in 2017 would strongly support the completion of the IMF programme.
”The government is putting in place measures to ensure irreversibility and sustain micro economic stability to ensure that the country would not seek the assistance of the IMF again,” he added.
The President mentioned that government had restored teachers and nurses’ trainee allowance and doubled the capitation grants for schools and had commenced the Free Senior High School programme.
Giving some details, he said, the programme had enabled 90,000 more students to gain access to Senior High School in 2017 than in 2016.
President Akufo-Addo hinted that the fiscal deficit had been reduced from 9.3 per cent to estimated 5.6 per cent of GDP and added that the government’s economic team had found a novel way to deal with the oppressive debt situation.
”This has brought some relief. The annual average rate of debt accumulation, which in recent years, has been as high as 36 per cent has declined to 13.3 per cent as at September 2017.
”As a result, the public debt stock as a ratio of GDP was 68.3 per cent against the annual target of 71 per cent for 2017 and ended 2016 actual figure of 73.1 per cent,” he said.
The President noted that as a result of appropriate policies and the mobilisation of the power situation in the country had engineered the revival of industrial sector from a growth -0.5 per cent in 2016 to 17.5 per cent in 2017.
He said for the first time in a long while, the country’s economic indicators were solid for growth.