Stats office says oil, mining, cocoa boost growth (Adds quotes, details)

ACCRA, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Ghana’s economy grew by an unadjusted 33.5 percent in the year to the second quarter of 2011 as the West African nation became an oil producer, the country’s statistics office said on Thursday.

Ghana’s statistics office also revised the country’s first quarter year-on-year gross domestic product growth up to 31.5 percent from a preliminary 23 percent figure.

However, Ghana’s government statistician Grace Bediako told a news conference in the capital Accra that quarter-on-quarter GDP fell 4.3 percent in the second quarter.

“The value of goods and services produced in the second quarter increased by 33.5 percent unadjusted … No doubt the mining and quarrying sector, which includes oil, contributed heavily to the increase,” she noted.

Bediako said oil was having a heavy impact on Ghana’s growth.

“It is the key driver here, and weighs heavily in the figures and will continue to be the catalyst,” she said.

Ghana, the world’s second largest cocoa producer, started pumping oil from its Jubilee oil field in late December. Increased mining activities and a record cocoa crop also boosted its economy and revenues.

“The strong growth is reflected in the minerals production of gold, oil and quarrying,” Bediako said, adding that output in the crops and cocoa sector rose 82.3 percent year-on-year in the quarter.

“The big jump in this sector is also due to the heavy cocoa production that we have seen this year,” Bediako said.

Cocoa purchases declared by private buyers to Ghana’s industry regulator Cocobod have topped one million tonnes since the start of the season last October, far exceeding last year’s output of 630,000 tonnes.

Bediako said Ghana’s construction, financial and insurance services also saw similar growth.

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