Businesses recovering from COVID-19 shocks – GSS

New data from the COVID-19 Business Tracker survey results revealed businesses in Ghana continue to recover from the shocks caused by the pandemic.

The third wave identified multiple recovery pathways such as sales, access to inputs, finance, employment, compared to the2020secondrounddata(WaveII).

However, the key findings from the third round(WaveIII)data released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) and the World Bank, show a considerable decline in the rate of reduction in hours worked, wage reduction and leave without pay over the three data collection periods in 2020-2021(WavesI-III).

“The findings from the third Wave of the COVID-19 Business Tracker indicate that the government stimulus impacted positively on firm’s sales with an increase of 11.5 percent. This positive effect was evident among small businesses as their sales increased by 22 percent,” said  Professor Samuel K. Annim, the Government Statistician.

He said the Wave III Business Tracker also showed rising use of mobile money among firms for sales.

“Data compared to Waves Iand II, reveal almost seven out of 10 firms are now using mobile money to do business, with mobile money usage increasing from 35.7 per cent and 53.4 per cent (Waves Iand II respectively), to69.6 per cent (Wave III),” Prof Annim said.

He indicated that the survey revealed that more businesses were adopting the use of internet for sales.

Commenting on the survey, AngelaLusigi, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana said “We need to reimagine development in the digital age. It is encouraging to see more firms embracing digitalisation as a default to improve business. UNDP remains committed to supporting Government’s digital agenda and recovery efforts to accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).”

She said the Wave I data also showed an increase in reopening of previously fully closed firms.Out of 30,654 firms that were previously closed in the Wave II results, almost half were fully opened(15,174) in WaveIII.

“But close to half(14,162)are still closed, suggesting more supports to help all businesses fully bounce back.  The top three policies support the firms desired to become resilient are loans with subsidised interest, cash transfer and access to new credit,” the UNDP Resident Representative to Ghana said.

“The improvement recorded over the periods is remarkable, but we also need to pay attention to the policy supports required by the firms. The World Bank will continue to support the Government of Ghana in its efforts towards the country’s economic recovery,”notedPierreLaporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The COVID-19 Business Tracker is a collaboration between the Statistical Service, UNDP and the World Bank which aims at providing critical information to help the Government of Ghana, development partners.

BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU

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