SEPTEMBER MEETING BANK OF GHANA MPC – PART 3

MPC-Press-Conf-Release_Sept_20_2019

Summary_of_Economic_Financial_Data_September-2019

IN THE THIRD AND LAST PART OF MY ARTICLE SERIES ABOUT  THE SEPTEMBER MEETING OF THE MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE OF THE BANK OF GHANA, I WILL DISCUSS FOUR ISSUES.

— GOVERNMENT FISCAL OPERATIONS;

— MONETARY INDICATORS;

— BANKING SECTOR INDICATORS; AND

— STOCK MARKET PERFORMANCE.

FINALLY, THERE WILL BE A CONCLUSION AND  OUTLOOK.

  • GOVERNMENT FISCAL OPERATIONS

HERE WE GET JUST INTO THE CENTER OF ECONOMIC PROBLEMS. THE FISCAL OPERATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT DIDN’T REACH THE TARGETS AT ALL LEVELS. DESPITE THE DOMESTIC REVENUE AND THE TAX REVENUE INCREASING MARGINALLY, THE OVERALL BALANCE WENT FURTHER INTO MINUS. THAT WAS BECAUSE THE EXPENDITURE INCREASED MORE THAN THE REVENUE. MORE MUST BE DONE TO GENERATE MORE REVENUE. THERE ARE PROBLEMS WITH COLLECTING THE PROPERTY TAX AS WELL AS FUNERAL FEES, E.G. THERE ARE ALSO PROBLEMS WITH TAXING THE INFORMAL SECTOR.

I AM AWARE THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS IN PLAN MEASURES TO BETTER THE REVENUE COLLECTION. LET’S SEE WHAT COMES OUT OF THAT UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR.

IN THE NEXT STEP IN THE GOVERNMENT’S FISCAL OPERATIONS IS THE PUBLIC DEBT. THE DEBT/GDP RATIO ROSE TO NEARLY 60%. THIS LEVEL IS USUALLY CONSIDERED THE UPPER LIMIT OF THE RATIO FOR A COUNTRY LIKE GHANA. ANYTHING HIGHER THAN THE 60%, AND THE SITUATION GETS DANGEROUS. WE CANNOT  AFFORD DEBT/GDP RATIOS OF 100% OR MORE LIKE SOME DEVELOPED COUNTRIES HAVE.

THERE IS ONLY ONE “POSITIVE” ASPECT WHEN LOOKING AT PUBLIC DEBT.THAT IS THAT THE DOMESTIC DEBT HAS INCREASED IN DOLLAR TERMS AS WELL AS IN CEDI TERMS. ON THE OTHER HAND.,EXTERNAL DEBT DECREASED MARGINALLY, ALSO IN DOLLAR TERMS AS WELL AS IN CEDI TERMS.

NOT A COMPLETELY ROSY PERSPCTIVE…

  • MONETARY INDICATORS

THE POSITIVE ASPEDT INTHOSE MONETARY INDICATORS IS THAT THE RESERVE MONEY HAS INCREASED TO 15% ANNUAL GROWTH RATE. ALL THE OTHER MONETARY INDICATORS (M1 AND M2) SHOW A SLOWDOWN OF THE INCREASE RATE. THIS IS PROBABLY THE RESULT OF A TIGHTENING OF THE MONETARY POLICY BY THE BANK OF GHANA.

THE PRIVATE SECTOR CREDIT (PSC) HAS RISEN IN NOMINAL AS WELL AS IN REAL TERMS. THIS SEEMS TO BE A GOOD SIGN. THAT MEANS TWO THINGS – THAT CONSUMERS WANT TO BUY MORE, AND THAT COMPANIES INTEND TO INVEST MORE. THE LATTER CORRESPONDS WITH THE BUSINESS CONFIDENCE RISING. WE MUST WATCH HOW THE CREDIT DEMAND AND SUPPLY DEVELOPS IN THE NEXT MONTHS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY NECESSARY AS SOME BANKS HAVE ALREADY MADE THEIR INTENTION CLEAR TO TIGHTEN THE CREDIT SUPPLY.

  • BANKING SECTOR INDICATORS

THE FINANCIAL SECTOR – OF WHICH THE BANKING SECTOR IS A PART – IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ECONOMY. AFTER THE CLEAN-UP OF THE BANKING SECTOR, IT SEEMS THAT THE SECTOR HAS STABILISED. THIS COMES TO LIGHT WHEN LOOKING AT THE AGGREGATE BALANCE SHEET. ALL  SUB-INDICATORS – TOTAL ASSETS, TOTAL DEPOSITS, AND TOTAL ADVANCES – HAVE INCREASED. THIS IS SURELY THE RESULT OF THE CLEAN-UP OF THE SECTOR AND THE FOLLOWING STABILISATION.WE CAN SEE THAT FROM THE FACT THAT THE AGGREHATE BALANCE SHEET BALANCE SHEET OF FEWER BANKS IS ACTUALLY BETTER THAN THE AGGREGATE BALANCE SHEET OF MORE BANKS VEFORE THE CLEAN-UP.

THE CAPITAL ADEQUACY RATIO HAS GONE DOWN MARGINALLY. BUT IT IS STILL HIGH ENOUGH NOT TO SHOW ANY PROBLEMS.

THE ASSET QUALITY HAS ALSO INCREASED, AS  THE PERCENTAGE OF NON-PERFORMING LOANS (NPL) DECREASED. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR LOW-CATEGORY NPL WHICH IS ANOTHER INDICATOR FOR THE STABILISATION OF THE ECONOMY.

MANAGEMRNT EFFICIENCY IS EFFECTIVELY FLAT, WHILE RETURN ON ASSETS AND RETURN ON EQUITY BOTH INCREASED.WITH THIS, BOTH INDICATORS WENT BACK ON A POSITIVE PATH, AFTER THEY DECREASED CONSIDERABLY IN THE MONTH BEFORE.

CONSEQUENTLY, THE BANKING SECTOR APPEARS TO BE ON HARD GROUND AGAIN. STAKEHOLDERS IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY SHOULD ONLY BE CAREFUL THAT THEY DON’T  OVERDO THE CAUTION IN CREDIT SUPPLY.

THE BANKING LIQUIDITY IS THE ONLY NEGATIVE SHOWING IN THE BANKING SECTOR INDICATORS.BOTH COMPONENTS WENT DOWN, THE CORE L;IQUID ASSETS TO SHORT-TERM LIABILITIES EVEN CONSIDERABLY.

  • STOCK MARKET PERFORMANCE

ANOTHER PART OF THE FINANCIAL SECTOR IS THE STOCK MARKET. UNFORTUNATELY, I CANNOT SAY MUCH POSITIVE ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE OF THE STOCK MARKET. BOTH INDEXES – THE COMPOSITE AND THE FINANCIAL – WENT SOUTHWARDS. THAT ONE THEY DID FOR THE LAST THREE MONTHS UNDER REVIEW. FURTHERMORE, THE TREND WENT ON IN THE LAST WEEKS. THEREFORE, BOTH INDEXES ARE ON THEIR LOWEST POINTS SINCE YEARS. AS THE MARKET CAPITALISATION SHOWS THE SAME TREND, WE CAN ONLY HOPE FOR BETTER TIMES.

  • CONCLUSION AND OUTLOOK

AS WE COULD EXPECT, THE FAILURE TO REACH THE REVENUE TARGETS IS THE MAIN PROBLEM. TOO MANY OTHER COMPONENTS DEPEND ON THE SUCCESS OF REACHING THE TARGETS. IF THAT COULD BE THE CASE, THE DEBT/GDP  RATIO WOULD SURELY BE IN A BETTER STATE, ALSO, MANY OTHER INDICATORS NOW IN THE NEGATIVE TERRITORY COULD GO UPWARDS. AS I ALREADY MENTIONED, THE GOVERNMENT WILL PUT IN PLACE MEASURES TO IMPROVE REVENUE MOBILISATION. ESPECIALLY THE TAX REVENUE  COULD IMPROVE SIGNIFICANTLY THROUGH THESE MEASURES.

WE MUST WAIT WHETHER THESE MEASURES CAN BE IMPLEMENTED SUCCESSFULLY. BUT IF THAT IS THE CASE, THE GHANA ECONOMY WILL SURELY TAKE A MAJOR STEP FORWARD.

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