IFS and NRGI host Budget 2016 Forum
November 5, 2015
Public Debt and Sustainability: Whither Ghana?
November 30, 2015

Press Statement on the 2016 Budget

On November 5, 2015, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and Natural Resource Governance Institute
(NRGI) organized a Budget Forum to discuss the economic challenges and risks confronting the country
and the issues that needed to be addressed in the 2016 Budget. The Forum identified that, in the last three
years, the government has not succeeded in improving the fortunes of the country despite setting ambitious
targets every year. And despite the 2015 Budget Statement having a transformational agenda as its main
theme, there is no evidence that the economy is being transformed. Real GDP growth has decelerated and,
indeed, the projected real GDP growth of 4.1 percent this year will be the second lowest since 2000, driven
by declines in the growth rate of all the key sectors of the economy. Growth of the agriculture sector has
been decelerating, manufacturing activities have collapsed, having experienced three continuous years of
decline, while mining and quarrying will contract this year, the first time in decades. The macroeconomic
environment continues to be unstable. Inflation is on the rise, the cedi continues to depreciate, and interest
rates still remain stubbornly high. The economy remains highly vulnerable to external shocks in the form
of sustained currency depreciation, volatility in commodity prices, sudden stops in portfolio inflows into the
domestic capital market for government securities, low levels of foreign currency reserves, and large share
of foreign-currency denominated public sector debt. The public debt stock situation has worsened and the
country now faces a high risk of debt distress and increased overall debt vulnerability. The country
continues to face huge backlogs in critical infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure and energy
supply. Corruption in the public sector is not only perceived to be on the increase but institutionalized.

Click here to view the full statement