According to the latest Summary of Macroeconomic and Financial Data from the Bank of Ghana the country’s total debt stock has gone up again
Ghana’s total public debt stock which started the year at GHS219.6 billion, saw an accumulation of GHS43.5 billion in seven months.
This brings the total debt at the end of July 2020 to GHS263.1 billion.
The total amount of fresh debt accumulated in the first seven months of the years 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 stood at GHs8.7 billion, GHS11 billion, GHS21.8 billion, and GHS28.9 billion respectively.
In the first seven months of 2020 however, the amount of new debt accumulated jumped to GHS43.5 billion, representing an increase of 19.8 percent in the country’s debt stock from January to July.
This compares to an increase of 16.4 percent in the country’s total debt stock in the same period in the year 2019.
The significant increases on all fronts have pushed Ghana’s debt to GDP ratio to 68.3 percent, the highest level in more than a year.
Domestic and External components
The external component of Ghana’s debt increased by 23 percent from January to July 2020 rising to GHS 138 billion, which is 35.8 percent of GDP.
Domestic debt on the other hand, increased by 16.4 percent, rising to GHS125.1 billion, coming up to 32.5 percent of our GDP.
One major component of the domestic debt for the period was the financial sector resolution bond of GHS 14.2 billion, which constituted 3.7 percent of GDP.
Ghana’s debt stock rises to GHS255.7 billion
As of June 2020, Ghana’s debt stock has risen to GHS255.7 billion. This showed that some GHS50 billion had been added to the debt stock in the last 12 months.
Provisional figures from the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, indicated that the current debt stock is 66.36 percent of GDP.
“The increase was mainly as a result of a Eurobond issuance of US$3.0 billion in February 2020, exchange rate depreciation, front-loading of expenditures and the COVID-19 effect which increased the cedi equivalent of the outstanding debt stock,” Mr. Ofori-Atta explained during the mid-year budget review.
The total debt stock was made up of GHS134.8 billion of external debt and GHS120.8 billion domestic debt.