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Ghana finance ministry sees swift recovery from COVID-19 slump

Credit: REUTERS/LUC GNAGO

Ghana's Finance Ministry revised up its 2020 growth forecast on Wednesday and forecast a rebound to 5.9% next year as the economy recovers from its first contraction in almost four decades due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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ACCRA, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Ghana's Finance Ministry revised up its 2020 growth forecast on Wednesday and forecast a rebound to 5.9% next year as the economy recovers from its first contraction in almost four decades due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The West African nation, a major producer of gold, oil and cocoa, saw gross domestic shrink 3.2% in the second quarter after a three-week lockdown in March forced many businesses to close.

But lower prices and a stabilised exchange rate have boosted business optimism and led the ministry to expect growth this year of 1.9% versus an earlier estimate of 0.9%, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said in an address to parliament.

"Despite the set-backs from the pandemic, we are on track to recover," he said.

The ministry has also revised down its projected fiscal deficit for 2021 to 8.3% from 9.6% due to the anticipated pick-up in economic activity, he said.

(Reporting by Christian Akorlie Writing by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Bate Felix)

((alessandra.prentice@thomsonreuters.com; +380 44 244 9150; Reuters Messaging: alessandra.prentice.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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