The 6 to 7 percent growth target by the World Bank is also higher than the government’s growth projection of 6.3 percent in 2017.
“We expect that growth in Ghana will be robust in this year and we are forecasting a growth of 6 to 7 percent in 2017 and potentially higher in 2018,” the Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone World Bank, Henry Kerali, told a news conference on Friday.
He explained that concerns over the rising public expenditure and instances of budget overruns have hampered Ghana’s efforts at achieving set economic targets over the years.
In 2016, Ghana’s economy grew at 3.5 percent down from the 3.9 percent in 2015.
This was largely influenced by developments on global markets which affected prices of commodities such as crude oil, gold and cocoa.
Also, the election uncertainties were cited as affecting some critical investment decisions while increased expenditure also affected the public purse.
According to Mr. Kerali, the World Bank’s optimism is premised on the anticipated increase in global commodity prices which have already shown signs of a pick-up.
Also, the Bank is banking hopes on the NPP government’s demonstration to pursue sound economic policies by controlling public expenditure.
“We are anticipating improved macro-economic management which means at the moment if we look at the structure of the budget and revenue collected, a significant proportion is spent on non-discretionary items like salaries and interest payments,” he stated.
He added, “So with better management of the economy, that should release funds for investments which will further boost growth and these are some if the priorities that we see that the new administration is putting in place which gives some optimism that the economy will recover faster than it has performed in previous years.”
The 3.5 percent 2016 economic growth has been among the lowest in the past five years.
Mr. Kerali was addressing the press after this year’s Spring meetings in Washington D.C.