Ghana’s total debt stock has hit GHC208.6 billion at the end of September 2019.
This was stated in Bank of Ghana’s summary of financial and economic data for November 2019. The data was released after the recent Monetary Policy Committee meeting to review the “health” of the economy.
The total debt stock of GHC208.6 billion implies that the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 60.3 percent at the end of the period.
Breakdown of Total Debt Stock
Out of the GHC208.6 billion, GHC107.2 billion represents loans that government has taken from foreign sources. This is approximately USD20.10 billion. The figure represents about 31.1 percent of the total GDP of the economy.
Whereas domestic debt constitutes GHC101.4 billion of the total debt stock. It further represents 29.4 percent of the total GDP of the economy.
Figures imply that value of the country’s foreign loans is approximately GHC5.8 billion more than value of local loans. Finance managers require more foreign exchange to service international debt in the future. This is likely to exert pressure on the local currency.
Rate of Total debt increase since August 2018
Ghana’s total debt stock stood at GHC205 billion at the end of July 2019. There is an increase of over GHC3 Billion representing 1.4 percent in a spate on three months. This suggests increased government spending. Probably the recent financial sector clean-up of Savings & loans and Micro-finance sectors might have taken a chunk
Figure also suggest a 30 percent jump in the country’s public debt figure from August 2018 to September 2019. Total debt as at end of Aug 2018 was GHC159.4 billion.
The Bank of Ghana spent about GH¢10.7 billion in cleaning up the financial sector, as at the end of the second quarter of 2019.
Based on estimates outlined in the 2019 Supplementary Budget, the cost could reach 21 billion by the end of the year.
Impact of rising debt stock on the economy
Consequently we will feel the impact more on Ghana’s debt servicing bill. According to the 2019 Budget government is planning to set aside GH¢18.6 billion just to pay for the interest of funds borrowed.
Again if the economy does not expand to accommodate these rising debt, it could impact negatively on the country Debt-to-GDP Ratio, which has increased from 59% to 60.3 percent from July to September 2019.
How much does every Ghanaian owe?
Based on the GH¢208.6 billion debt, each Ghanaian owes about GH¢7611 if the debt is shared among the population size of 27 million.