Ghana’s economy, for the first time in about 4 decades, has recorded negative growth, caused by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ghana Statistical Service data has revealed.
Data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) shows that despite the information and communication sector growing at an impressive 74.2 percent, it wasn’t enough to save the economy as it contracted by 3.2 percent compared to an impressive growth of 5.7 percent recorded same period a year ago.
In monetary value, goods and services produced in the sector quarter was worth some GH¢85.7 billion in the sector. But when inflation is taken out, with 2013 as the base year, the economy’s worth in the period is GH¢38.6 billion compared to GH¢39.9 billion the previous year.
The data clearly indicates that the hospitality sector, precisely hotels and restaurants, was the hardest impacted by the pandemic and was further largely responsible for the economy’s contraction as it also contracted by a horrifying 79.4 percent in the period under discussion.
It must be recalled that the hospitality industry was the sector which was most significantly affected by restrictions on movements and events as government implemented lock down measures and ordered the closure of all drinking bars, night clubs, among others. The GSS data shows sales revenue among accommodation and food businesses dropped to as low as GH¢700,000 in April compared to GH¢2.5 million in April 2019.
The hospitality sector was not the only to experience this misfortune. The manufacturing sector also saw sales revenue slashed by almost half as it recorded GH¢25.6 million in April compared to GH¢44.9 million same period last year.
Restrictions on travel and trade also saw sales revenue from the sector drop to GH¢30.5 million in April from GH¢45.5 million in 2019 same period.
In terms of the real sectors of the economy, agriculture was the only sector that experienced some growth, growing by 2.5 percent while industry and services contracted by 5.7 percent and 2.6 percent respectively.