Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has said Ghana’s currency lost its value against the major trading currencies by 53.8% since the beginning of 2022.
This, he said is against the average 7% annual depreciation between 2017-2021.
Presenting the 2023 Budget in Parliament on Thursday, the Minister said the uncontrolled demand for imports and foreign exchange accounted for the reduction in value of the cedi.
“The demand for foreign exchange to support our unbridled demand for imports undermines and weakens the value of the cedi. This contributed to the depreciation of the Cedi which has lost about 53.8% of its value since the beginning of this year, compared to the average 7% annual depreciation of the Cedi between 2017 and 2021.”
He noted that the cedi depreciation has seriously affected the Ministry’s ability to effectively manage the country’s debt which has increased by ¢93 billion this year alone.
Mr. Ofori-Atta, however, added that the Bank of Ghana will continue to monitor inflation developments and respond appropriately to contain price pressures.
According to him, the Monetary Policy Committee will focus on using the monetary policy rate to, among others, contain inflationary pressures.
He said the provisional figures indicate that total public debt at the end of September 2022 stood at ¢467.37 billion ($48.87 billion), representing approximately 75.9% of the Gross Domestic Product.
The increase in the debt, he noted is largely due to exogenous factors.
“Mr. Speaker, the external debt as a percentage of the total debt stock is 58.1 percent as at end of September 2022. The sharp growth in the external debt stock is largely driven by the depreciation of the local currency. The depreciation of the Ghana cedi added GH¢93,855.15 million to the external debt stock.”