Ghana Economy - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Economic overview

Ghana has a market-based economy with relatively few policy barriers to trade and investment in comparison with other countries in the region, and Ghana is endowed with natural resources. Ghana's economy was strengthened by a quarter century of relatively sound management, a competitive business environment, and sustained reductions in poverty levels, but in recent years has suffered the consequences of loose fiscal policy, high budget and current account deficits, and a depreciating currency.

Agriculture accounts for about 20% of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. Gold, oil, and cocoa exports, and individual remittances, are major sources of foreign exchange. Expansion of Ghana’s nascent oil industry has boosted economic growth, but the fall in oil prices since 2015 reduced by half Ghana’s oil revenue. Production at Jubilee, Ghana's first commercial offshore oilfield, began in mid-December 2010. Production from two more fields, TEN and Sankofa, started in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The country’s first gas processing plant at Atuabo is also producing natural gas from the Jubilee field, providing power to several of Ghana’s thermal power plants.

As of 2018, key economic concerns facing the government include the lack of affordable electricity, lack of a solid domestic revenue base, and the high debt burden. The AKUFO-ADDO administration has made some progress by committing to fiscal consolidation, but much work is still to be done. Ghana signed a $920 million extended credit facility with the IMF in April 2015 to help it address its growing economic crisis. The IMF fiscal targets require Ghana to reduce the deficit by cutting subsidies, decreasing the bloated public sector wage bill, strengthening revenue administration, boosting tax revenues, and improving the health of Ghana’s banking sector. Priorities for the new administration include rescheduling some of Ghana’s $31 billion debt, stimulating economic growth, reducing inflation, and stabilizing the currency. Prospects for new oil and gas production and follow through on tighter fiscal management are likely to help Ghana’s economy in 2018.

Real GDP growth rate

8.4% (2017 est.)

3.7% (2016 est.)

3.8% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

8.4% (2019 est.)

9.8% (2018 est.)

12.3% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 202

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B (2013)

Moody's rating: B3 (2015)

Standard & Poors rating: B- (2020)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$164.64 billion (2019 est.)

$154.623 billion (2018 est.)

$145.509 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 74

GDP (official exchange rate)

$65.363 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$5,413 (2019 est.)

$5,194 (2018 est.)

$4,997 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 170

Gross national saving

20.9% of GDP (2018 est.)

22.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

9% of GDP (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 102

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 18.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 24.5% (2017 est.)

services: 57.2% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 80.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 8.6% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 13.7% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 43% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -46.5% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 60 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 85 (2020)

Trading score: 54.8 (2020)

Enforcement score: 54 (2020)

Agricultural products

cassava, yams, plantains, maize, oil palm fruit, taro, rice, cocoa, oranges, pineapples


mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate

16.7% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Labor force

12.49 million (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 44.7%

industry: 14.4%

services: 40.9% (2013 est.)

Unemployment rate

11.9% (2015 est.)

5.2% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163

Population below poverty line

23.4% (2016 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

43.5 (2016 est.)

42.3 (2012-13)
41.9 (2005-06)

country comparison to the world: 39

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 32.8% (2006)


revenues: 9.544 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 12.36 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

20.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 149

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 183

Public debt

71.8% of GDP (2017 est.)

73.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 46

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$2.131 billion (2017 est.)

-$2.86 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 169


$13.84 billion (2017 est.)

$11.14 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 87

Exports - partners

Switzerland 23%, India 17%, China 12%, United Arab Emirates 8%, South Africa 8% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, crude petroleum, cocoa products, manganese, cashews (2019)


$12.65 billion (2017 est.)

$12.91 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 98

Imports - partners

China 24%, Nigeria 22%, United States 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

metal tubing, ships, cars, refined petroleum, rice (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$7.555 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$6.162 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 81

Debt - external

$20.467 billion (2019 est.)

$17.885 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 93

Exchange rates

cedis (GHC) per US dollar -

5.86 (2020 est.)

5.68 (2019 est.)

4.9 (2018 est.)

3.712 (2014 est.)

2.895 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Ghana on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Ghana 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Ghana 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.