June 17, 2015 / 11:30 AM / 4 years ago

Ghana's unadjusted Q1 GDP growth jumps to 4.1 pct y/y

Farmers break cocoa pods in Ghana's eastern cocoa town of Akim Akooko September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Kwasi Kpodo

ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana’s unadjusted economic growth rate rose sharply to 4.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2015 compared with a revised figure of -3.8 percent in the same period last year, the statistics office said on Wednesday.

The agriculture sector, helped by livestock, recorded the highest growth rate at 7.4 percent year-on-year. The industry sector contracted by 0.9 percent and services, especially data usage for cell phones, grew at 4.7 percent, government statistician Philomena Nyarko told a news conference.

“Most industries have put in place measures this time around to ease the impact of the power crisis facing the country,” Nyarko said, adding that the impact of blackouts on the economy was more severe in 2014 than this year.

The government forecasts 2015 GDP growth of 3.9 percent, lower than the average for sub-Saharan Africa, after years in which the country was among the continent’s fastest growing economies due to its exports of gold, oil and cocoa.

The International Monetary Fund has extended a package worth nearly $1 billion to restore fiscal stability to the West African country, which faces a steep debt-to-GDP ratio and a currency that has fallen sharply since the start of 2014.

Ghana’s annual producer price inflation eased to 19.0 percent year-on-year in May from a revised figure of 19.5 percent the month before, the statistics office said.

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