IMF PROPOSES EXPENDITURE CUTS TO DEAL WITH EXPECTED HIKE IN OIL PRICES

IMF proposes expenditure cuts to deal with expected hike in oil prices

Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Wiafe | Joy Business Editor |Washington DC
Date: 19th-april-2017 Time:  11:52:09 am

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised Ghana to embark on some expenditure cuts, revenue-enhancing measures to diversify the economy.

The IMF says this will enable the country to avoid any shocks on the economy over the expected pick up in the price of crude oil.

There are fears that the price of crude oil could hit the roof soon as a result of the threat by U.S. government to hit North Korea over nuclear missile test as well as Syria over the use of a chemical weapon on civilians.

The price of the commodity is currently trading at around $52 a barrel after, a slight decline following Saudi Arabia’s decision not to cut oil production.

But answering a question posed by JOYBUSINESS at a press briefing on the World Economic Report, on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington D.C, Director of Economics Studies at the IMF, Oya Celasun said the measure will help minimize any negative impact on Ghana.

Ghana recently joined the league of oil exporting countries; however, a pick in crude price is likely to have negative impact on the economy in terms of the price of petroleum products going up at the pumps.

The development that could affect the cost of living in the country as well as drive inflation. Transport fares were recently pushed to about 15 percent adjustment, because of several hikes in petroleum prices since the last quarter of 2016.

Meanwhile, the IMF is forecasting a 5.8 percent growth rate for Ghana in its latest World Economic Outlook.

The growth rate projected by Fund for Ghana might be higher than the 4.6 percent Non-Oil GDP growth forecasted by government for this year.

However, when you look at the growth including oil, then what the Fund, projecting might even be higher than what government is hoping to achieve.

The IMF is also looking at an end of year inflation rate of 10 percent for Ghana,  lower than the 11.2 percent that government has projected.

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