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Ghana’s February inflation rate surges past 15 percent

GHANA’S headline inflation surged 1.8 percentage points to 15.7 percent in February, from 13.9 percent in January, the highest since October 2016, according to data released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) announced Wednesday, Koku Devitor reports from Accra.

Disclosing the latest rate, Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician, said higher food and petroleum prices were the main factors causing the increase in inflation.

‘In February, food inflation increased to 17.4 percent from 13.7 percent in January, and this is higher than the average of 10.8 percent for the previous 12 months. Non-food inflation also increased to 14.5 percent from 14.1 percent the previous month,’ he said.

Annim added that, ‘Housing, Transport (which includes fuel), and food were the divisions that recorded the highest inflation rates of 25.5 percent, 18.3 percent, and 17.4 percent, respectively.’

The government statistician said the Ghanaian situation could not be isolated from global developments, such as the crisis in Russia and Ukraine, which has led to sharp increases in global crude prices.

‘There are various factors contributing to the uptick in inflation. In northern Ghana, it is food prices, but in southern Ghana, it is both food and non-food prices, so we must tackle all these perspectives to control the situation,’ he urged.

 Late February, commercial transport operators increased their fares by 15 percent across the board, increasing the cost of living in Ghana, West Africa’s second largest economy.

During its meeting in January, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana projected that the current trends in inflation would persist for four quarters.

Based on that prognosis, the central bank increased its benchmark policy rate by 100 basis points to 14.5 percent to curb inflationary pressures.

The MPC will meet again later in March to attempt another round of diagnoses and prescriptions to tame the upside risks to inflation and rein in other fundamental risks to macroeconomic stability.

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