NEWS COMMENTARY ON GDP AS AN INDICATOR OF ECONOMIC PROGRESS
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is one of the economic indicators that show whether the country is making economic progress or not. However, a section of the public believes that GDP does not reflect in the everyday life of the people and therefore African governments should stop touting GDP and other economic indicators as achievements. This is because it is a narrow way of looking at the situation. Another school of thought believes that GDP and other economic indicators reflect directly on the life of the people if citizens of the country can assess basic social amenities such as hospitals, schools, water, electricity and roads. These are made possible by the economy and are also measured by the indicators. If people go to hospital and they are not turned away because the government is not owing the NHIS, the economic indicators are having a direct impact on the citizens. Construction and rehabilitation of roads by government is also an indication that there is improvement in the economy. Ghana’s economic outlook has received positive reviews from international credit rating agencies over the past few years. Moodys, Bloomberg and Standard and Poor, three of the world’s most credible credit rating agencies have all given good reviews of the country’s economy. However, some economic experts say the positive ratings are meaningless in that, the figures do not reflect in the life of the ordinary Ghanaian. Others believe that the country’s positive ratings is good because it indicates that GDP and inflation is impacting directly on the people.
For about two years the country has experienced an increase in food production resulting in the export of plantain and other foodstuffs to the neighbouring countries. This also brought down prices of foodstuffs. Those who say people do not eat GDP and other economic indicators may have a point because of past experience. Previously people went for funds for projects but diverted them. This is why people are concluding that figures are mere rhetorics for the reason that huge sums of money were given out for projects in the past but there was nothing to show for it. Currently, the dynamics are changing as significant gains are being made in terms of GDP and economic indicators reflecting the realities on the ground. Government’s economic policies such as one-district-one-factory, NABCO, free SHS and Planting for Food and Jobs are clear indications that GDP and other economic indicators are having positive impact on Ghanaians.
By Ebenezer M. Ashley (PhD)
Fellow Chartered Economist & CEO of EBEN Consultancy,