Ministry Of Finance Rubbishes Claims Of Inconsistencies In Ghana’s Macro-Economic Data
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has refuted claims that there are inconsistencies between the macroeconomic data captured in the 2020 budget and what was presented to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
On May 8, 2020, some fact-checking organization published their findings after comparing the data published by the IMF and the 2020 budget presented to parliament. According to the findings, the Ministry of Finance shared different data with the IMF and the Parliament of Ghana in contracting the $1 billion rapid loan facility.
The report also indicated that the discrepancies were in the figures of GDP Deficit, Primary Balance, Current Account Balance, and Gross International Reserves figures.
In response to these allegations, the MoF issued a press release on Sunday May 10, 2020 on its official website saying the claims are “false and misleading.”
The Ministry explained that the organization compared the wrong figures.
“The first inaccuracy in the said publication was taking the January to September figures, that is the third quarter figures reported in our budget statements and comparing them with the full year figures reported by the IMF. The fiscal deficit and primary balance reported in the publication are provisional end-September data quoted from the 2019 and 2020 Budget Statements,” it said.
It further stated that,
“it was wrong to compare them with the full year figures reported by the IMF and come to the erroneous conclusion that Government had misrepresented information on the economy.”
The release however highlighted the misinterpreted information.
“Here is the data: for the first three quarters of 2018 and 2019, the provisional fiscal deficit reported were 3.0% of GDP (2019 Budget Statement) and 4.5% of GDP (2020 Budget Statement), respectively while the primary balances were 0.5% of GDP (2019 Budget Statement) and -0.3% of GDP (2020 Budget Statement) respectively. However, the full year fiscal outturn published on the Ministry of Finance website (www.mofep.gov.gh) indicate that the fiscal deficit was 3.9% of GDP for 2018 (Jan-Dec) and 4.8% of GDP for 2019 (Jan-Dec) while the primary balance recorded a surplus of 1.5% of GDP and 0.9% of GDP in 2018 and 2019 respectively.”
The Ministry assured that there is consistency between full-year fiscal performance indicators presented to parliament and submitted to the IMF.
“Contrary to the claims in the publication, there is consistency between full-year fiscal performance indicators (overall fiscal balance and primary balance) reported by the Ministry of Finance and that reported by the IMF, even though both of them independently estimate their GDP projections based on independent assumptions,” it said.
The release also urged Ghanaians to always seek clarification before drawing their own conclusions and stated that discussions about the economy are welcome as it helps in managing the economy better.
It reads, “May we state that the Ministry of Finance welcomes discussions of the economic information we provide. Such discussions help us in managing the economy. We also operate an open-door policy. We urge the public to seek clarification on matters they may have difficulty with and we would be happy to help resolve any misunderstanding. Publishing such wrong claims about the economy is not helpful.”
Check table below: Comparing MoF & IMF Reports On Fiscal Performance for 2018 & 2019