Ghana’s total output for last year has shown a marginal improved growth over that of 2018 as figures from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) indicate the economy grew by 6.5 percent, largely driven, once again, by oil.

The growth is a 0.2 percentage point higher than the 2018 growth albeit missing government’s revised target of 7.1 percent for the year. In terms of money, the economy is worth some GH¢349 billion.

Besides the services sector which saw an increased growth, both industry and agriculture sectors saw growth decline. The services sector grew by 7.6 percent from the 2.7 percent it did in 2018; whereas the industry sector grew by 6.4 percent, indicating a 4.2 percentage points decline from 2018; and the agriculture sector also saw a 0.2 percentage point decline from last year to record 4.6 percent growth.

The figures further reveal that the economy relied on oil to drive growth for the year as without it, growth would have been 5.8 percent. Oil overtook mining and quarrying as the main driver of economic growth, growing by 15.1 percent – the highest among all sectors – whereas mining grew at 12.6 percent. However, in 2018, mining and quarrying grew at 23.3 percent whereas oil grew at 3.6 percent.

Overall, the services sector continues to be the dominant force in the economy, contributing about half of the output with 49.5 percent. Industry and agriculture shared the remaining half with 31.1 percent and 19.4 percent respectively.

Ghana’s economy is expected to experience its slowest growth in about four decades, making it the worst year since the historic 1983 when the economy was thrown into a recession.

Finance Minister, ken Ofori-Atta has said that the deadly global pandemic will cause Ghana’s economy to see GDP growth decline significantly to 1.5 percent should the country go on a partial lock down, of which it did. The IMF has also projected the same growth of 1.5 percent for the year, a big blow to an economy initially tipped to grow at 6.8 percent.