Cedi depreciation figures declared by government for 2023 are inaccurate: finance expert

Joe Jackson, financial analyst Joe Jackson, financial analyst

Finance expert Joe Jackson has questioned the government’s stated figures on the depreciation of the cedi against major trading currencies in 2023.

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, presenting an update on the economy at a press conference on May 24, 2024, said that the depreciation of the Cedi against the US dollar decreased from a staggering 54.2% at the end from November 2022 to 27.8% at the end of December 2023.

He added that the Cedi is expected to strengthen further in the medium term after the completion of the Domestic Debt Swap Program (DDEP).

“However, despite the recent pressures we are seeing on exchange rate movements, the exchange rate has largely stabilized with the depreciation of the Cedi against the US dollar halving from 54.2 % at the end of November 2022 to 27.8% at the end of December 2023.

“The stability of the Cedi has continued in 2024, with a cumulative depreciation of 14.2% as of May 20, 2024, compared to 20.7% recorded in the same period in 2023. We expect the stability of the Cedi to improve in the medium term as we complete the debt. restructure, advance further in fiscal consolidation and improve our reserves in the medium term,” stated the Minister of Finance.

Reacting to the figures presented by the minister, Joe Jackson argued that the depreciation figures are inaccurate as he believes they do not align with the data available online, particularly the exchange rate figures provided by the Bank of Ghana.

“It is possible that the minister was slightly wrong in his figures. I don’t think in May 2023 it was that kind of number.

“If you go online and look at the Bank of Ghana rate and other quoted rates; “Anyone can go to www.xe.com and compare the US dollar with the cedi and you will see that the current central bank exchange rate is 14.55,” the finance expert said.

He continued: “On May 24, 2024, the exchange rate quoted there is 10.75. Today the quoted exchange rate is 14.55, the depreciation is around 24%.”

Referring to claims that the cedi will strengthen in the medium term, the acting CEO of Dalex Finance said it must first be translated into the pockets of the average Ghanaian.

“…As for the cedis being strong, you can’t say that. We feel it in our pockets, we feel it when we buy clothes… you feel it everywhere,” Jackson argued.