DESPITE VOLUME declines in gold and crude oil exports, total exports increased by 2.7 per cent to $7.6 billion mainly due to higher prices realised from exports.
Total imports also increased by 5.7 per cent to $6.8 billion largely due to a 61.2 per cent jump in the value of refined petroleum products imports.
The moderated export receipts relative to imports resulted in a lower trade surplus of $837.5 million, compared with a surplus of $1.0 billion recorded for the corresponding period of 2020.
Current Account Deficit
The current account deficit for the first half of 2021 was estimated at $926.1 million (1.3 per cent of GDP) compared with $548 million (0.8 per cent of GDP) for the same period in 2020.
This was on the back of the lower trade surplus and higher net investment income outflows.
Private individual transfers have however remained resilient with net inflows of $1.6 billion in the first half of the year, despite the uncertain global environment.
The capital and financial accounts recorded an inflow of $3.3 billion compared with $1.6 billion for the same period in 2020, driven by higher portfolio and foreign direct investments inflows.
Balance Of Payments
As a result of these developments, the overall balance of payments recorded a surplus of $2.4 billion in the first half of 2021, against a surplus of $1.0 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
“The improved balance of payments outturn supported the build-up in Gross International Reserves (GIR) to $11.0 billion, equivalent to 5.0 months of import cover at the end of June 2021. At end December 2020, Gross International Reserves stood at $8.6 billion (or 4.0 months of import cover).”
On exchange rate performance, available data as at July 22, 2021 shows that cumulatively, the Ghana Cedi recorded a depreciation of 0.6 per cent against the US dollar, compared with a depreciation of 2.5 per cent for the same period of 2020. The Ghana Cedi also depreciated by 1.2 per cent against the Pound Sterling but appreciated by 3.6 per cent against the Euro over the same period.
BY Samuel Boadi