July 18, 2018 / 3:30 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Ghana's economy seen up to 40 pct bigger after data overhaul -officials

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ACCRA, July 18 (Reuters) - Ghana’s economy will be up to 40 percent bigger than previously calculated when the West African country completes an overhaul of its economic output data in September, two senior government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

The major commodity exporter is recalculating its gross domestic product based on measurements from 2013 instead of 2006 to more accurately reflect recent activity in the petroleum, communication technology and construction sectors, the statistics office said.

“The indication is that this year’s rebasing will add 30 percent or more to the size of the economy... It could be up to 40 percent,” a senior official close to the government’s economic management team told Reuters.

“It’s likely to be around 30-40 percent expansion”, another official told Reuters.

Ghana’s $47 billion economy ranks eleventh in Africa after Tanzania, according to IMF estimates for 2017. A 30 percent expansion will move it up one spot.

The statistics office plans to announce the new data in September, together with second quarter GDP growth. The economy expanded 6.8 percent in the first three months, it said in June.

The economy of the cocoa and gold producer expanded by 60 percent in 2010 when the country rebased its national accounts, leaping into middle-income status.

This year’s rebasing would automatically make the government’s deficit and debt levels appear more benign. But it also means Ghana’s already low tax revenue as a ratio of GDP would further slide below the regional average, analysts said. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Aaron Ross, William Maclean)

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