Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, has described as baffling the sustained rise in the rate of inflation in the country.
According to the governor, the Monetary Policy Committee, which is meeting to review developments in the economy, will need to decide on the current policy rate, which stands at 17%.
The policy rate, which influences interest rates for individuals and businesses, is also used as a tool to curb inflation in the country.
Data from the Ghana Statistical Service shows that the continuous surge in transport and food prices among others, across the country, has pushed the national year-on-year inflation for April 2022 to 23.6 %, which is over 13 percentage points higher than the upper band of government’s inflation target for 2022, which is 10 %.
Under the inflation targeting regime being operated by the Central Bank, policy makers generally prefer that the policy rate stays ahead of headline inflation. But for the first time in a long while, the key rate is trailing headline inflation by about 700 basis points, leaving the Central Bank in a difficult position.
Speaking on the challenge with inflation in an interview with Bloomberg, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, said the situation is complicated, but a decision will be made by Monday on what to do about the policy rate.
“It’s an issue, which in a sense is baffling for all of us. A year ago inflation in Ghana was 7%% and now we find ourselves with high double-digit inflation. It’s a very complicated environment. The MPC is meeting this week and I do not want to pre-empt what the committee will decide, but I think it’s a very complicated situation. We do need to take a position on what to do with the policy rate, which stands at 17%.”
Dr. Addison meanwhile, stated that he was confident that the rate of inflation had peaked and should begin declining for the rest of the year.
“Government and the Central Bank are very much aware of the problem. We’ve had very major decisions on fiscal consolidation. Expenditures have been cut by 20% among other things. We expect that these measures will serve as an anchor to inflation. A lot of the shocks that we are seeing now tend to be supply-side in nature, but we think the worst has gone through the system, and we expect that inflation will be tapering off for the rest of the year.”