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2018 Budget: Government targets 6.8% growth rate in 2018

Nov. 15, 2017, 12:08 p.m.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has announced that government intends to grow the economy by 6.8 percent in 2018. This represents a 0.5 percent increase, compared to 2017 which was pegged at 6.3 percent.

Presenting the 2018 Budget and Financial Statement in parliament today, Monday, November 15, 2017, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, stated that government targets “overall GDP growth rate of 6.8 percent, with non-oil GDP growth rate of 5.4 percent”.

“Our prime focus is to ensure that the fiscal deficit, which remains our principal fiscal anchor, continues on a downward trajectory, reaching 4.5 percent of GDP from the projected 2017 end-year estimate of 6.3 percent,” he added.

In addition, Mr. Ofori-Atta announced that, government is targeting an end-of-year inflation rate of 8.0 percent, lower than the 11.2 percent targeted for 2017.

Currently, inflation rate [October] is at 11.6 percent. Mr. Ofori-Atta is hopeful the fiscal deficit of the country may stabilize below 5 percent of GDP, as government puts in all the macroeconomic measures to grow the economy.

“Achieving this objective is not only critical, but necessary if we are to maintain the healthy primary balance surplus required to eventually reduce the rate of debt accumulation,” he said.

He maintained that there is the need to boost domestic revenue through innovative channels that will not place undue burden on the entire populace. “We must make these decisions in good time to ensure that our future generations will be bequeathed with a priceless inheritance of sustainable fiscal environment.”

“In this vein, optimizing resources mobilization through improved tax compliance and efficient and effective revenue administration, remains an important part of our fiscal strategy to boost domestic revenue mobilization for 2018 and the medium-term,” he added.