“Ghana’s Net International Reserves Fall Short of Import Cover: IMF Report Warns of Economic Instability”

Ghana’s net international reserves are projected to end at just three weeks of import cover in 2023, according to the 2023 International Monetary Fund Regional Economic Outlook Report for Sub-Saharan Africa. This is in contrast to the Bank of Ghana’s estimate of 2.7 months of import cover. The IMF report indicates that Ghana had just above two weeks of import cover in 2022, and that the country’s economy would suffer significantly if foreign inflows ceased.

The report suggests that the $3 billion IMF bailout loan is critical for Ghana’s economic stability going forward. While Ghana’s reserves are expected to increase to around 1.7 months of import cover in 2024, the country remains one of the lowest-ranking countries in the region in terms of import cover. Only Zimbabwe, South Sudan, and Ethiopia are projected to have lower import cover than Ghana.

The Bank of Ghana has reported that Ghana’s net international reserves slightly improved to $2.62 billion in March 2023, or about 2.8 months of import cover in February 2023. However, the country’s balance of payments had a deficit of $3.63 billion, which was about 5% of gross domestic product by the end of February 2023. The low import cover is a major concern for the country’s economy, and the IMF bailout loan may provide some much-needed support.

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