Ghana’s inflation rate has decreased significantly, to 45 percent in March 2023 from the rates recorded for January and February 2023, which were 53.6 percent and 52.8 percent respectively.
Despite the drop, inflation is still four times higher than the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) upper policy target of 10 percent.
According to data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), inflation reached its highest point at 54.1 percent in December 2022 following a 19-month acceleration.
In last month’s inflation data, the GSS also indicated that food inflation was recorded at 50.8 percent in March 2023 while non-food inflation was recorded at 40.6 percent, a difference of 10.2 percent. Moreover, locally produced items had an inflation rate of 41.9 percent while imported items recorded 51.6 percent, indicating a 9.7 percentage point difference.
Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician, upon release of the latest inflation data stated that the prices of goods and services decreased by 1.2 percent between February and March 2023. Additionally, food and non-food inflation recorded deflation of 0.9 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.
Out of the 13 divisions used to calculate the consumer pricing index and inflation rate, five had an inflation rate higher than the national average of 45 percent – with furnishings and household equipment having the highest inflation rate at 67.4 percent.
Providing further guidance to policymakers on the areas to look at to drive inflation down, especially given the dynamics seen last year and which are impacting the rate of inflation currently being computed this year, the Government Statistician said: “This year, we identified 127 items that recorded a rate of inflation higher than the national average of 45 percent.
These 127 items were predominantly imported non-food items that accounted for about a fifth of the 127 items, specifically 40.9 percent. This was followed by local food items, which were 40 out of the 127 items.
That is a steady 1.5 percent followed by imported food at 18.9 percent for 24 out of the 127 items. And the last category is local food, which had 11 out of the 127 items and constituted 8.7 percent”.
Prof. Annim further stated that from a policy point of view, although there has been a slowdown in the rate of inflation, there are some identified sections which recorded rates higher than the national average of 45 percent; and these were predominantly imported non-food items – 52 out of the 127 items.
Another guide for policymakers is the top-20 items that saw upward price changes on a year-on-year basis and on a month-on-month basis.