Inflation eases to 10.3% in January

Baah PixThe annual consumer price inflation (CPI) eased to 10.3 per cent in January from 11.8 per cent the previous month, the Ghana Statistical Service has said.

It is the lowest in at least five years, giving the Bank of Ghana room to resume rate cuts.

The rate is the slowest since January 2013, according to the agency’s data, Baah Wadieh, Acting Government Statistician, said at a press conference in Accra.

The central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 20 per cent in January after consumer prices did not slow as quickly as it anticipated toward the target of six per cent to 10 per cent.

Ghana, a major commodity exporter, is in its final year of a $918 million credit programme with the International Monetary Fund to restore fiscal balance and narrow inflation to eight per cent plus or minus two percentage points in 2018.

 

“The drop in inflation partly reflected base effects from an increase in energy sector levies in January 2017 and price growth may ease into the target range in March and April,” Mark Bohlund, an economist at Bloomberg Economics said.

 

“The drop is bigger than what we’re expecting,” Yvonne Mhango, an economist at Renaissance Capital in Johannesburg, said.

 

“It gives the central bank scope to cut interest rates at its next meeting,” RenCap forecasts a cut of 50 to 100 basis points when the monetary policy committee meets in March, she said.

 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures changes over time in the general price level of goods and services that households acquire for the purpose of consumption, with reference to the price level in 2002, the base year, which has an index of 100.

 

 

 

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