Ghana economic growth seen down around 7.2 percent in 2014


ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana's economy is forecast to grow at around 7.2 percent in 2014, down from an expected 7.9 percent this year, Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur told reporters on Tuesday.

The country's budget deficit for 2013 will stand at 9.2 percent of GDP, slightly over the 9.0 percent target it initially set for the year, Amissah-Arthur added.

Overspending in Ghana has cast a shadow over the country's reputation as a stable democracy enjoying robust economic growth largely due to its gold, cocoa and oil exports.

Fitch downgraded Ghana's sovereign rating this month to B from B+ over concerns about the deficit and current account deficit.

"In 2013 we think the growth will be good in terms of the African peer countries but it will not be to our expectations," Amissah-Arthur said. "We don't think it will be 8 percent, it will be 7 or 7.2 or thereabouts, which will be good."

Ghana aimed to extend its international currency reserves to five months import cover next year, up from an average of three months cover in 2013, he said.

(Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by David Lewis)

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