ACCRA - Ghana's economy grew 2.9% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2022 compared with 6.6% in the third quarter of 2021, the country's statistics service said on Wednesday.

Economic growth has dropped since a post-COVID pandemic recovery in 2021 as Ghana has grappled with runaway inflation, a depreciating local currency and spiralling debt.

It is expected to slow to 3.7% in 2022 and to 2.8% in 2023, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said during his budget presentation last month.

The West African country defaulted on most of its external debt on Monday, the latest event reflecting the dire state of its economy amid efforts to plug a gaping balance of payments deficit.

The government reached a $3-billion staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week. Its approval is conditional on comprehensive debt restructuring.

(Reporting by Cooper Inveen; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by James Macharia Chege)