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The Ministry of Finance says Ghana remains a lower-middle income status country and has not been downgraded to low income status by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Ministry stressed the point in a statement in response to claims that the IMF has downgraded the country’s economic status in its latest Fiscal Monitor report.

Many social media posts and news reports earlier this week claimed that the IMF in its report had downgraded Ghana’s economic classification to low-income status and the development was a reflection of the country’s worsening debt situation and declining economy.

Citi News in a fact-checking report found the claim to be false and that the IMF’s classification of countries had for several years maintained Ghana’s position as a low income developing country.

The Ministry of Finance reiterated the point that, “Ghana continues to be categorised as a “Lower-Middle Income Economy” based on the widely-recognised classification of the World Bank and the UN.”

Per the World Bank’s income classification of countries widely accepted and used across the world, Ghana is lower-middle income economy.

“The IMF Fiscal Monitor does not aspire at classifying countries by income level. Instead, it analyses the latest public finance developments, updates medium-term fiscal projections, and assesses policies to put public finances on a sustainable footing. The groupings of economies presented in the Fiscal Monitor’s Methodological and Statistical Appendix serve an analytical purpose only.In this appendix, Ghana is conveniently categorised as a “Low-Income Developing Country (LIDC)”, like other Lower-Middle Income Economies such as Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria and others,” the Finance Ministry clarified.

The Ministry said such misinformation on the state of the Ghanaian economy could have serious implications for the international investor community.

“Public mis-information of this magnitude has serious implications for the international investor community, especially coming on the heels of a major and successful Eurobond issuance two weeks ago.”

Read the full statement below:

GHANA HAS NOT BEEN DOWN-GRADED AS A LOW INCOME COUNTRY

The Ministry of Finance has noted with concern publications in some media houses, including Joy FM, that Ghana has been downgraded as a “low income country” by the IMF in accordance with its latest Fiscal Monitor.

  1. We wish to state that Ghana continues to be categorised as a “Lower-Middle Income Economy” based on the widely-recognised classification of the World Bank and the UN.
  2. The IMF Fiscal Monitordoes not aspire at classifying countries by income level. Instead, it analyses the latest public finance developments, updates medium-term fiscal projections, and assesses policies to put public finances on a sustainable footing. The groupings of economies presented in the Fiscal Monitor’s Methodological and Statistical Appendix serve an analytical purpose only.In this appendix, Ghana is conveniently categorized as a “Low-Income Developing Country (LIDC)”, like other Lower-Middle Income Economies such as Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria and others.
  3. Ghana’s classification in the recent IMF Fiscal Monitor did not change. In effect, there is nothing like the country being downgraded.
  4. Government has put in measures including the GHS100 billion Ghana CARES Obaatanpa programme that will provide the fiscal stimulus to drive growth and economic transformation post Covid-19 pandemic.
  5. Ghana is projected to maintain a positive economic growth of 0.9% in 2020, representing one of the few “pockets of resilience” on the continent. In 2021 and over the medium term, the Government expects GDP growth to average 5% and the deficit to decline to under 5% by 2024.
  1. We wish to reassure all Ghanaians that Ghana is still classified as a Lower-Middle Income Country. It is unfortunate that the media houses in Ghana did not contact the Ministry for verification, neither did they contact the offices of the World Bank and/ or the IMF in Ghana for corroboration. Public mis-information of this magnitude has serious implications for the international investor community, especially coming on the heels of a major and successful Eurobond issuance two weeks ago.END.

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