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GoG Data Shared With IMF Accurate

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…As factcheck-ghana.com Diabolic Plot To Discredit economy Exposed

 

By Frank Amponsah

The Government of Ghana (GoG) has indicated that it never falsified data to its stakeholders, including the IMF and that it firmly adhere to the international standards and best practices in macroeconomic data reporting.

The position of Government was in response to some inaccurate publication by factcheck-ghana.com, which claimed that the Government of Ghana under President Akufo-Addo shared different macroeconomic data with Ghanaians and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In setting the facts straight, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in a Statement indicated that the said publication only managed to compare MoF provisional fiscal outturns from January to September; excluding financial sector bail-out cost and energy sector contingent liabilities, with the full year data including same items reported by the IMF.

It said the fiscal deficit and primary balance reported by factcheck-ghana.com are provisional end-September data quoted from the 2019 and 2020 Budget Statements.

“It is important to note that the reasons for these differences have been duly acknowledged by the IMF Staff Report on the Rapid Credit Facility (IMF Country Report No.20/110) from which the factcheck-ghana.com has picked the numbers from,” it stated.

According to government, the said publication must be disregarded since it is misleading and intended to harm the reputation of the economy in this unprecedented times of combating COVID-19.

The Statement also maintained that the main Budget Statement, usually presented in November each year, covers data up to the third quarter of the year and therefore would naturally vary with end-year data usually provided in the Mid-Year Review in July.

It said, 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

But, factcheck-ghana.com without thoroughly fact-checking, rather compared these provisional figures for the first three quarters of the year with actual full year data reported by the IMF and claimed Government is reporting different numbers to Ghanaians and external partners.

The Ministry also averred that there is consistency between full-year fiscal performance indicators which is the overall fiscal balance and primary balance reported by the MoF and IMF, even though both the MoF & IMF independently estimates their GDP projections based assumptions applied.

“We will like to emphasize that the MoF data which are all published data on our website are the same numbers that were provided to the IMF and are the same data the IMF based their compilation of their fiscal table on.

Explaining the Current Account Balance and the Gross International Reserve the Ministry pointed out that data published by the Bank of Ghana Economic and Financial Data and the IMF Country Report No.20/110) showed no discrepancy between the BoG and IMF on current account balance for 2018 and 2019 and with respect to Gross International Reserves, differences emanates from the treatment of petroleum funds (Ghana Stabilization Funds & Ghana Heritage Funds) in Gross International Reserves, whiles the IMF data excludes petroleum funds, the Bank of Ghana data includes petroleum funds.

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