Economist and lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Dr. Patrick Opoku Asuming is confident the Bank of Ghana will soon increase its Monetary Policy Rate above the current 14.5%.
This, according to him, is due to the rising inflation in the country and developments on the global scene especially the likelihood of the United States Federal Reserve raising its monetary policy rate.
The Monetary Policy Rate, which is of keen interest to individuals and businesses, does not only signal the rate at which the Central Bank will lend to commercial banks; it also subsequently influences average lending rates on loans to individuals and businesses.
The rate was maintained at 14.5% last month, following the 104th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee. This marked the second time the Central Bank had maintained the rate after increasing it by 100 basis points in November 2021, after the rate had stayed at 13.5% for 5 months from June to October 2021. Average interest rates have meanwhile been trending downwards ending 2021 at 20.04% after starting the year at 20.97%.
Developments on the inflation rate front have, however, gotten some worrying that the Monetary Policy Committee will soon increase the rate which could see average interest rates rising.
Latest data from the Ghana Statistical Service shows that a significant increase in prices associated with Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other Fuels as well as Transport, has pushed the rate of inflation for January 2022 to 13.9 %, marking the 8th consecutive time national inflation has risen.
In an interview with Citi Business News, Economist and lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Dr. Patrick Opoku Asuming noted that the policy rate is likely to go up in the next couple of Monetary Policy Committee meetings.
“If you look at our inflation and inflation expectations, they’ve been going up. One big driver has been the fuel prices which have been going up as well. I’m sure you’ve also heard the transport operators threatening to raise fares, all of which will help keep us out of our medium-term target band of 8+/-2%.”
“Also as the BoG has acknowledged, the U.S Fed is expected to raise its rates and when it does we also have to raise ours. I expect us to raise our rate in the next couple of MPC meetings and when it’s raised it will lead to more difficult times,” he added.