Mobile Voice and Data drives economic growth in Q1 2019

Provisional data released by the Ghana Statistical service (GSS) has revealed that growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2019 was largely driven by the growth in the information and communications sub-sector.

The sub-sector grew by 37.0 percent in the first quarter of 2019, year-on-year, compared with a growth of 16.3 percent in the same period of 2018.

Speaking at a press briefing, the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim said, “the economy as driven mainly by what is happening in the information and communications sub-sector. Specifically, the fact is that mobile data and voice are what is driving the change that we see in the services sector.”

This year’s first quarter recorded GDP grew by 6.7 percent, year on year, compared to 5.4 percent during the same period in 2018. While this represents significant progress, it is however still short of the 7.6 percent growth government is targeting for the full year. Importantly though, faster growth is emanating from both the oil and the non -oil segments of the economy

Other drivers of growth for the quarter included, Health and social work, as well as the mining and quarrying sector and Electricity, which grew by 22.1 percent, 20.9 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively.

Gross Domestic Product is the estimate of the total value of final goods and services produced in the country over a given period.

The non-oil GDP growth for the first quarter of 2019 was at 6.0 percent year-on-year compared to 4.2 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2018.

Oil GDP grew by 6.7 percent for the quarter compared with 5.4 percent growth in the same period in 2018.

The real oil GDP estimate for the period was GHc 40,495.9 million compared to GHC 37, 970.1 million in the first quarter of 2018.  The non-oil GDP was GHc 37,301.0 million in first quarter of 2019, compared to GHc 35,182.7 million in same period of 2018.

The services sector still remained the largest sector of the Ghanaian economy in the first quarter of 2019, with a share of 47.2 percent. The GDP shares of industry and agriculture were 33.1 percent and 19.7 percent, respectively.

Services sector

The Services sector recorded a year-on-year quarterly GDP growth rate of 7.2 percent. This was driven by the Information and Communication sub-sector, which recorded the highest growth, while the Finance and Insurance sub-sector recorded the lowest growth of 2.1 percent.

The Health and social work sub-sector’s growth slowed slightly to 22.1 percent in quarter one of 2019 from 24.8 percent in the same period of 2018.

Industry sector

The year-on-year GDP growth rate for the Industry sector was at 8.4 percent for the first quarter 2019. This was driven by the mining and quarrying sub-sector, recording the highest year-on-year GDP growth rate of 20.9 percent during the first quarter of 2019, while the construction sub-sector recorded the lowest, with a contraction of 8.7 percent.

By Joshua W. Amlanu