Ghana economic growth rate more than doubles in 2017

Ghana’s economy expanded at the fastest rate in five years in 2017 as oil and gas production surged.

Gross domestic product expanded 8.5 percent last year compared with 3.7 percent in 2016, acting Government Statistician Baah Wadieh told reporters in the capital, Accra, on Wednesday.

Oil and gas output surged 80.4 percent, contributing to an increase in the industry sector, which accounts for almost a quarter of the economy. This came as Sankofa oil and gas field started production in May. Agriculture rose 8.4 percent and services 4.3 percent.

While services are the mainstay of the $43 billion economy, rising oil output is boosting the nation’s finances. Ghana’s growth booms and busts have been closely linked to crude since it became a producer in 2010, when Tullow Plc started the Jubilee field. Economic growth surged to 14.4 percent the following year, and slumped to less than 4 percent from 2014 to 2016 as oil prices dropped.

The West African country’s economy expanded 8.1 percent in the three months through December from a year earlier, Wadieh said. GDP grew 2.1 percent from the previous quarter.

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