Provisional data on Government fiscal operations indicate lower than budgeted outturns for both revenues and expenditures for the period January to May 2014, Dr Henry Kofi Akpenamawu Wampah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), has disclosed.
Dr Wampah, who was addressing the media after the 60th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank in Accra, yesterday, said total revenue and grants for the review period was GH¢9 billion (8.5% of GDP), below the target of GH¢9.5 billion (9% of GDP).
He said total tax revenue amounted to GH¢7.1 billion, lower than the estimated GH¢7.3 billion while non-tax revenue outturn was almost in line with projected estimates at GH¢1.8 billion, driven mainly by oil revenues, with grant disbursements remaining low at GH¢79.4 million, against an estimated GH¢393.3 million. According to Dr Wampah, the underperformance of government revenues during the first five months of the year was partly attributed to low import volumes, declines in international gold prices and production which affected mining sector corporate taxes and mineral royalties, and the general slowdown in economic activities.
He said Government expenditures (including arrears clearance) amounted to GH¢13.1 billion (12.5% of GDP), lower than the estimated GH¢13.6 billion (12.9% of GDP) for the period and that, of the total expenditures, compensation of employees amounted to GH¢4.1 billion against a target of GH¢4.4 billion with interest payments amounting to GH¢2.8 billion, compared with a target of GH¢2.2 billion.
He explained that although the compensation of employees fell short of target, it constituted about 47 percent of domestic revenues, up from 44.1 percent in the same period of 2013.
Dr Wampah said these fiscal developments resulted in a deficit of GH¢4.12 billion (3.9% of GDP), almost at par with the estimated GH¢4.1 billion (3.8% of GDP) for the period, against the corresponding period of 2013 which recorded a fiscal deficit was GH¢3.8 billion (4% of GDP), adding that the budget deficit was largely financed from domestic sources, with a Net Domestic Financing of GH¢3.2 billion, against an estimated GH¢3.0 billion.
He said the total stock of public debt (domestic and external) stood at GH¢58.4 billion (55.4% of GDP) at end-March 2014 from GH¢52.1 billion at the end of December 2013 and that of the total, the domestic debt component was GH¢27.8 billion, representing 47.5%.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)