Port activities declines but Consumer Spending Up-BoG

The Bank of Ghana Quarterly (BoG) in its Bulletin, January to March 2020, has revealed that a review of selected indicators of economic activity shows a decline in port activities and tourist arrival in the country.

The Bank of Ghana further said there was an improvement in the domestic economy during the first quarter of 2020, compared with trends observed during the first quarter of 2019.

“Economic indicators such as consumer spending, vehicle registration and industry consumption of electricity went up but tourists’ arrivals and port activities declined during the review quarter mainly as a result of the closure of the borders and the lock-down,” the statement noted.

BoG added that, Domestic VAT collections also declined.

“Domestic VAT collections grew by 4.5 percent, year-on-year, to GH¢1,182.25 million relative to GH¢1,131.40 million collected during the same quarter in 2019. Domestic VAT collections however decreased by 28.6 percent when compared with GH¢1,655.80 million collected for the fourth quarter of 2019,” the statement noted.

Retail sales increased by 39.9 percent (year-on-year) to GH¢236.85 million during the first quarter of 2020 from GH¢169.34 million registered in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

The comparative improvement in retail sales could be attributed to increased household consumption during the review period.

However, manufacturing-related activity, as measured by trends in the collection of direct taxes (income, corporate and others) and private sector workers’ contributions to the SSNIT Pension Scheme (Tier-1), posted mixed out turns during the first quarter of 2020, compared with what was observed in the same period of 2019.

“Also, total direct taxes collected declined by 4.89 per cent (year-on-year) to GH¢4,113.91 million in the first quarter of 2020, relative to GH¢4,325.59 million recorded during the same quarter of 2019. Similarly, total direct tax collected for the quarter under review dropped by 50.8 per cent from GH¢8,357.44 million collected in the fourth quarter of 2019,” the statement added.

Paa Kweku Eshun Talksafrica.com

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