Ghana’s GDP growth rate of 3.7% in 2016 was certainly a far cry from the record high of 14.0% in 2011, and the lowest in over two decades (GoG, 2017). The 2016 growth outcome was a continuation of the downward trend since 2011. It represented a further decline from the 2015 rate of 3.9%. Although the 2016 outturn of 3.6% growth was substantially higher than the anemic rate of 1.4% registered by sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as a whole in 2016, it fell short of the 4.1% (revised) target (GoG, 2017). Moreover, the country’s overall GDP growth rate was below that of the non-oil sector of 4.6% (GoG, 2017), a continuation of the underperformance of the oil sector.

The downward trend in growth of the Ghanaian economy should be an issue of concern, though falling growth rates are not exclusive to Ghana. Global GDP growth fell from 3.4% in 2015 to 3.1% in 2016, consistent with the trend since 2010 (Figure 1.1). Even the recent recovery of the advanced economies appears to have stalled, while developing countries continue to wallow in economic doldrums. The present malaise of the world economy is apparently a hangover from the global economic and financial crisis of the late 2000s.