Consumer spending, proxied by domestic VAT collections and retail sales, posted a mixed performance in May 2022, compared with the corresponding period in 2021.

According to the Bank of Ghana, domestic VAT collections increased by 30.6% on a year-on-year basis to ¢700.12 million, from ¢536.10 million.

Cumulatively, total domestic VAT for the first five months of 2022 went up by 15.6% to ¢3.153 billion, compared with ¢2.728 billion for the corresponding period of last year.

On the other hand, retail sales, dipped by 6.0% (year-on-year) to ¢107.90 million in May 2022, down from the GH¢114.78 million recorded in the same period in 2021.

On a month-on-month basis, retail sales declined by 11.7% in May 2022, from ¢122.20 million in the preceding month.

The relative moderation in retail sales, according to the Central Bank, largely reflected declining consumer demand during the review period. However, in cumulative terms, retail sales for the first five months of 2022 increased by 5.0%.

Manufacturing Activities

Activities in the manufacturing sub-sector, gauged by trends in the collection of direct taxes and private sector workers’ contributions to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Pension Scheme (Tier-1), improved in May 2022.

Total direct taxes collected increased by 36.0% (year-on-year) to ¢1.994 billion in May 2022, relative to ¢1.466 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021.

Cumulatively, total direct taxes collected for the first five months of 2022 went up by 20.3% to ¢10.815 billion, from ¢8.993 billion for the same period in 2021.

 In terms of contributions of the various sub-tax categories, income tax (PAYE and self-employed) accounted for 51.6%, corporate tax accounted for 36.8%, while “Other Tax Sources” contributed 11.6%.

Construction Sector Activities

Activity in the construction sub-sector, proxied by the volume of cement sales, declined by 25.7% (year-on-year) in May 2022 to 264,619.73 tonnes, down from 356,016.77 tonnes recorded a year ago.

On a month-on-month basis, total cement sales dipped by 9.1% in May 2022, compared with the 291,036.67 tonnes recorded in April 2022.

Cement sales for the first five months of 2022 went down by 12.2% to 1,556,916.30 tonnes, from 1,773,091.21 tonnes for the same period of 2021.

The decline in total cement sales was due to a slowdown in construction activities during the review period.

Vehicle Registration

Transport sector activities, gauged by new vehicle registrations by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), declined by 20.5% to 17,011 in May 2022, from 21,389 vehicles registered during the corresponding period of 2021.

Cumulatively, vehicles registered by the DVLA within the first five months of 2022 decreased by 4.1% to 134,402 from 140,082 recorded a year ago.

Industrial Consumption of Electricity

Consumption of electricity by industries went down marginally by 0.6% on a year-on-year basis during the period under review.

Industries consumed 264.71 gigawatts of power in May 2022, as against 266.25 gigawatts recorded for the corresponding period in 2021.

On a month-on-month basis, power consumed by industries in May 2022 declined by 2.4%, from 271.23 gigawatts utilised for April 2022.

However, in cumulative terms, electricity consumed by industries for the first five months of 2022 increased by 5.6% to 1,348.23 gigawatts, from 1,276.70 gigawatts for the corresponding period a year ago.

Passenger Arrivals at the Airport

International tourist arrivals increased in May 2022 by 65.2% to 71,660 tourists, compared to a similar period in 2021.

Compared to April 2022, tourist arrivals went up by 6.9%.

For the first five months of 2022, there were 309,827 tourist arrivals, compared with 179,345 for the corresponding period in 2021, representing a growth of 72.8%.

The sharp year-on-year increase in tourist arrivals reflected the easing of travel restrictions over the review period.

Ports and Harbours Activity

International trade at the country’s two main harbours (Tema and Takoradi), as measured by laden container traffic for inbound and outbound containers, declined during the period under review.

Total container traffic decreased by 14.0%, year-on-year, to 62,036 in May 2022, down from 72,156 for a similar period in 2021.

In cumulative terms, total container traffic for the first five months of 2022 dipped by 12.3% to 285,496, compared with 325,680 for the corresponding period of last year.

The BoG said relative decline in port activities was due to a slowdown in international trade activities over the review period amid ongoing geopolitical tensions.