ACCRA - Ghana's finance minister said on Monday that the government had lowered its 2022 economic growth forecast to 3.7% from 5.8%, and that it now saw a budget deficit this year of 6.6% of gross domestic product compared with 7.4% previously.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta added in a mid-year budget statement in parliament that year-end inflation was forecast at 28.5%, up from the 8% seen when the 2022 budget was presented in November.

The West African gold, oil and cocoa producer is close to a debt crisis, analysts say.

At the start of the month it said it would seek support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after hundreds took to the streets to protest against high inflation, weak growth and a depreciating local currency.

The IMF has said it will work with Ghana's government to develop a potential support programme.

(Reporting by Christian Akorlie and Bate Felix, Writing by Alexander Winning Editing by Estelle Shirbon)