The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has stated that the country is likely to see an upsurge in its consumer price inflation (CPI) till the end of 2016.
According to the GSS activities of speculators have heightened some exchange rate fluctuations which have seen increase in some goods.
Government statistician at the Ghana Statistical Service Dr Philomena Nyarko in an interview with Citi Business News said importers and the upcoming elections are to be blamed for the likely factors which will continuously see inflation increase.
“Generally in December people are chasing a lot of the dollars so you can understand that the exchange rate will fluctuate and so people start increasing prices of their items. But this one there is stability but the inflation rate of imported items has gone up. The expectation is that very soon exchange rate will go up and so they need to start hiking the prices of their goods to be able to make up the difference when the time comes.”
Dr. Philomena Nyarko further stated that even in situations that the importers or the traders have old stocks, so long as they expect the exchange rate to change they will also increase their prices.
This is because they the increase is expected to give them some cushion to enable them to import the next batch of products which the prices would have also gone up.
The GSS contends that even though the dollar has stabilized for some time now, increases in petroleum products and utility consumer price inflation is likely to rise in September till the end of 2016.
“You are also aware that already because of the increases we have experienced in the utilities, the inflation rates for those items are still high and it will take some time to bring it down.” She stated.
Inflation for the month of August moved up by two decimal percentage points to 16.9 percent as against the 16.7 percent recorded in July 2016.
The monthly change rate for August was negative 6 percent compared to the 0.9percent recorded in July.
The year on year non food inflation rate for August 2016 was 21.5 percent compared with the 21.2 percent recorded in July 2016.
Also, the year on year food inflation rate for August 2016 stood at 8.5 percent compared with 8.6 percent for July 2016.
Meanwhile In August 2016 the year on year inflation rate for imported items of 17.3 percent was 0.6 percentage points higher than that of locally produced items which was 16.7 percent.
The main price drivers for food inflation rate were Vegetables (11.5%), Minerals water, soft drinks, fruits and vegetable juices (10.6%), Oils and fats (10.1%), Coffee, tea and cocoa (9.7%0, Meat and meat products (9.6%) and Fruits (9.1).
The Greater Accra Region recorded the highest year –on-year inflation rate of 20.1 percent, followed by the Ashanti region with 18.5 percent while the Upper East Region recorded the lowest inflation rate of 11.8 percent.
By: Norvan Acquah – Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana