Despite the coronavirus pandemic crushing economies around the world hard, with many seeing a contraction, especially the developed ones, Ghana’s economy was able to withstand the shock of the disease as it rather experienced growth, thanks to the information and communication sector.
The information and communication sector, which is credited for pushing the growth to that level, grew astronomically at 77.4 percent, with its percentage contribution to the first quarter GDP hitting 42.7 percent.
Data indicates that in the first quarter of 2020, the pandemic desecrated economic super powers around the world. For example, the United States saw a contraction of 4.8 percent; China also shrunk for first time in almost three decades by 6.8 percent; the UK also experienced its biggest fall since the financial crisis in 2008, contracting by 2 percent; and Singapore also contracted by 2.2 percent. But little Ghana, which has an economy the fraction of the countries mentioned, on the contrary, grew by 4.9 percent in the midst of the pandemic.
Overall, the services sector maintained its position as the largest contributor to GDP, growing at 9.5 percent. It was, this time, followed by the agriculture sector which grew at 2.8 percent, catapulted unusually by the fishing sector which has performed abysmally for some years now. Industry sector rather trailed, growing at 1.5 percent in the first quarter.
Compared to last quarter (Q4 of 2019) the economy grew at 7.9 percent, and 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2019. In monetary terms, the productive activities in the first quarter of 2020 was worth some GH¢92 billion.
Despite impressive growth in the first quarter, analysts say it is too early to assess the impact of the pandemic on the economy as the country recorded its first case of the deadly disease late into the quarter, meaning, data captured cannot reflect the true effect of the impact of the pandemic compared to countries which recorded cases earlier in the year.