This is coming after the Ghanaian government projected a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 1.5% at worse for this year because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, it forecasted a 6.8% GDP growth rate in the 2020 Budget.
Fitch explained that there is a material downside risk to this prediction. The rating agency said this forecast depends on the
duration of the coronavirus pandemic and
the resulting lockdown measures.
“The current lockdown in Ghana's two largest cities of Accra and Kumasi will lead to much slower growth in manufacturing and services, but agriculture and the extractive sectors are likely to fare better.”
“We expect a relatively robust recovery to 5% in 2021, as oil production recovers gradually from an expected fall in 2020 and non-oil growth continues its recovery. The possibility of bringing new oil and gas reserves into production brings some upside risk in the long term, but we expect that Ghana's oil sector development will slow in response to the collapse of oil prices”, the rating agency added.
Fitch said the fall in oil export receipts, lower tourism receipts and remittances will cause the widening of the current account in 2020.
However, Fitch said this will be contained since Ghana's other key exports, gold and cocoa, are not correlated with the price of oil.
Fitch forecasts the current account deficit to widen to 4% of GDP, up from 2.9% in 2019.
The increase in external debt disbursements will support Ghana's official international reserves position.
However, increased borrowing will take net external debt to 46.1% of GDP, well above the current 'B' median of 17.6%.
The World Bank recently revised Ghana’s growth rate from 6.8% to 1.5% due to the novel coronavirus.
The International Monetary Fund also revised Ghana’s growth rate from 5.8% to 1.5% amid the coronavirus pandemic.