Some experts have expressed optimism that economic activities in the country will rebound faster than initially anticipated as more people take the COVID-19 vaccine.
The economic analysts told the Daily Graphic in an interview yesterday that the vaccine rollout would boost the confidence of businesses and consumers to carry out their activities as they explore new business avenues for a faster recovery of the economy.
A professor of Economics, Professor Peter Quartey, and an Economist, Dr Said Boakye, said it would also boost the confidence of business partners abroad to open up or increase trade to the country.
Consequently, they expect the government to set economic growth for this year to between 4.5 and five per cent on the back of the positive impact of the vaccine rollout on gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
The experts were speaking to the paper on the impact of the national and the global COVID-19 vaccination exercise, on the domestic economy which suffered its first depression in more than three decades last year on the back of the COVID-19 shock in the country.
The first phase of the vaccination exercise which started last Tuesday, is expected to end on March 15, 2021, within which period about 600,000 people in 45 districts in three regions in the country would have been covered.
The beneficiaries are expected to take their second mandatory doses between eight and 12 weeks, according to a guideline issued jointly by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
As of yesterday, Bloomberg News, which tracks COVID-19 vaccines exercise, said more than 256 million doses had been given in 108 countries worldwide.
Dr Boakye, who is the Head of Research at fiscal policy think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), said a successful rollout of the vaccination exercise in the world and the country in particular would open up trade for a stronger rebound.
“It builds confidence in the system. The real impact came from the external sector in the form of reduced trading activities, slump in oil prices and the rest”.
“Now, with the vaccines being rolled out, people will feel defended, restrictions will begin to be eased and economic activities will return to normal and these will support growth,” he said.
The expert also said the global vaccine campaign would help stimulate confidence and lead to a rise in crude oil prices to boost growth in the domestic petroleum sector for increased revenue generation.
The economic researcher further called for the procurement of more vaccines to cover the targeted 20 million people in the country to guard against a strong presence of the virus.
Sectors to benefit
Prof. Quartey, who is the Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, Legon, said while he expected all sectors of the economy to benefit from the exercise, he foresaw the hospitality and the education sectors benefiting significantly.
He said people who received the vaccine would feel "defended" against the virus and, therefore, feel more confident to travel around, engage in leisure and take their children to school, among other activities.
Those, he said, would benefit the hospitality and the education sectors, which are said to be the worst hit by the pandemic.