August inflation drops to 7.8 per cent …lowest since 2013

Ghana in August this year recorded an annual inflation rate of 7.8 per cent, the lowest in six years.

The year-on-year inflation rate in Ghana fell to 7.8 per cent last month from 9.4 in July this year, after the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) rebased the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Announcing the new consumer inflation rate for August at a news conference in Accra yesterday, the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel K. Annim attributed the fall in inflation rate to the drop in the non-food group inflation rate.

He said the non-food group in August recorded a year-on-year inflation rate of 7.4 per cent.

“Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics (12.9 per cent), transport (10.2 per cent) and housing, water, electricity, gas, other fuels (9.9) were the key drivers of the non-food inflation in August,” he said.

The Government Statistician said Insurance and Financial Services (0.3 per cent), Information and Communication (2.0 per cent) Education services (2.7 per cent), restaurants and accommodation services (4.8 per cent), health (5.4 per cent) recorded inflation rates below six per cent.

Prof Annim said the food and non-alcoholic beverages group recorded year-on-year inflation rate of 8.2 per cent.

“Fruits and nuts (25.2 per cent), cereals and cereal products (10.6 per cent), sugar and confectionery and deserts (9.0 per cent) and ready-made goods and other food products (8.3 per cent) were the major drivers of the food inflation.

The Government Statistician said, live animals, meat and other parts (5.4 per cent), fish and other seafood (6.3 per cent), milk, other dairy products and eggs (7.0 per cent), oil and fats (7.0 per cent) recorded inflation rates below eight per cent.

At the regional level, Prof Annim said the year-on-year inflation rate ranged from 3.9 per cent for Eastern Region to 12.4 per cent for Greater Accra regions.

“Four regions (Greater Accra, Upper West, Central and Volta) recorded inflation rates above the national average (7.8 per cent) with Eastern Region.

In a related development, the Government Statistician said as part of the GSS continuous commitment to improving on the quality of its products the CPI   has been rebased, adding that the new series has 2018 as the reference period and it is an expanded basket over the previous one which had 2012 as the reference period.

He said there were currently 307 items in the new basket compared with the 267 in the old basket for the computation of the CPI.

“The points of data collection have also increased from 42 markets in the old basket to 44 markets in this new series.  The new series has taken into account changes in consumption pattern over time.  One major change in the new series in the adoption of COICOP 2018 for the re-classification of items in the basket.  This resulted in some items moving across divisions and groups,” Prof Annim said.

The CPI, he explained in general measures the change over time in the general price levels of goods and services that households acquire for the purpose of consumption.

By Kingsley Asare

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