Credit availability slows in Ghana

06 sep 2010

Lending of credit to the public and private sector in Ghana slowed in the year to May 2010, new statistics have revealed.

Figures from the Bank of Ghana show credit growth was 3.2 per cent during the 12-month period, a substantial decline from the 43.8 per cent increase recorded in the year to May 2009, the Accura Mail reports. Total credit availability was up by 214.4 million Ghana cedi (€116.1 million) - compared to 2,025.7 million Ghana cedi between May 2008 and May 2009 - and the central bank described the credit environment in the country as "generally weak".

A breakdown of the statistics showed total private sector credit growth increased by 6.9 per cent, while credit to public bodies fell 14.3 per cent. The bank also warned that non-performing loans continue to be a risk to the financial sector and are hampering the ability of lower lending rates to boost economic activity in the country.

Last month, Standard & Poor's lowered Ghana's sovereign rating to B and raised concerns about the government's "large fiscal deficits".