Ghana’s economy has continued to bounce back strongly from the devastating impacts of the pandemic as shown by developments in the main sub-sectors of the economy.
A recent Bank of Ghana report showed that there was much improvements in the transport sector, port activities, international passenger arrivals and in the productive sectors of the economy in the second quarter of the year.
Transport-related economic activities in the Ghanaian economy continue to bounce back strongly as the global economy opens up and supply chains begin to strengthen. According to the Bank of Ghana, vehicle registration by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) which gauges transport-related economic activities, improved by 60.4 percent to 67,190 in the second quarter of 2021.
The DVLA registered 25,311 more vehicles in Q2 2021 compared to the corresponding period last year when the Authority registered a total of 41,879 vehicles.
The Bank of Ghana attributed the comparative improvement recorded in vehicle registration year-on-year to “an increase in vehicle importation during the quarter”.
Irrespective of the year-on-year improvement in economic activity within the transport sector, the number of vehicles registered in Q2 2021 were lower than those registered in Q1 2021. The BoG indicated that total vehicle registration in Q2 this year nosedived by 30.1 percent relative to 96,093 vehicles registered in Q1 2021. The first quarter of 2021 recorded the highest vehicle importation since the second quarter of 2016.
Industrial Consumption of Electricity
Within the review period, the consumption of electricity by industries, which is a proxy for activities within the productive sectors of the economy, went up by 22.8 percent. Industries utilized 799.19 gigawatts of power in the second quarter of 2021, as against 650.84 giga-watts recorded for the same period in 2020, the Bank of Ghana revealed.
Industrial consumption of electricity also increased by 8.0 percent from 740.19 giga-watts utilized for the first quarter of 2021. The relative improvement in the electricity consumed by industries, the BoG said, “could be attributed to increased industrial activity during the review period”.
Construction Sector Activities
In the construction sub-sector, economic activity, as measured by the volume of cement sales, improved by 19.1 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2021. The BoG indicated that 1,057,271.00 tonnes of cement were sold in Q2 2021 relative to 887,734.28 tonnes recorded in the second quarter of 2020.
However, total cement sales during the review period declined marginally by 0.5 percent when compared with 1,062,902.24 tonnes recorded during the first quarter of 2021.
The relative improvement in total cement sales, according to the BoG, was as a result of an uptick in construction activities during the review period.
International Passenger Arrivals
As travel restrictions continue to ease, international passenger arrivals through the country’s various ports continue to rise, providing a boost for domestic tourism and local demand.
The Bank of Ghana highlighted that about 131,905 tourists entered the country during the review period, as against 4,583 visitors received in the second quarter of 2020. International passenger arrivals during the period went up by 33.3 percent when compared with 98,950 visitors received in the first quarter of 2021. “The sharp year-on-year increase in tourist arrivals was due to the easing of travel restrictions over the review period”, the BoG said.
Just like air travels, economic activities at the country’s two main harbours (Tema and Takoradi), as measured by laden container traffic for imports and exports, recorded an improvement during the second quarter of 2021. Total container traffic for imports and exports went up by 36.5 percent to 199,670 in Q2 2021 from 146,266 in Q2 2020.
Similarly, port activity increased by 4.5 percent when compared to 191,051 laden containers recorded in the first quarter of 2021. The relative improvement in port activity, BoG believes, is as a result of an up-tick in international trade as global COVID-restrictions eased during the quarter.
These developments in the economy further affirmed the BoG’s assertions that the economy is recovering at a faster pace.