October inflation remains unchanged at 17.4%

Year-on-year consumer price inflation remained unchanged at 17.4 percent in October compared to the previous month, due in part to the cedi seeing some stabilisation, the statistics office said on Wednesday

Market-watchers are observing closely how it affects the Bank of Ghana’s policy-rate announcement on Monday, especially as it seeks to achieve its end of December 2016 inflation target.

Dr. Philomena Nyarko, Government Statistician speaking at a media briefing in Accra to announce the October 2015 numbers, said October index was partly driven by the relative stability in the cedi exchange rate resulting in lower prices of imported items.

The cedi slumped nearly 30 percent in the first half of the year but has remained fairly stable in recent weeks on back of regular dollar sales by the central bank.

She explained that the year-on-year non-food inflation rate of 23.0 percent was about three times higher than the food inflation rate of 7.8 percent, the same as in September.

Non-food inflation slowed slightly to 23.0 percent from 23.2 percent in September: housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels went up by 23 percent. Clothing and footwear rose 24.5 percent and education increased 28.8 percent.

In contrast, prices of recreation and culture increased at a faster 29.9 percent; transport went up 25.7 percent and furnishings rose 24.5 percent. On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 2.70, compared to a 0.1 percent drop in September.

She said the price drivers for the food inflation rate were vegetables, which recorded 13.6%, and mineral water, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices was 8.5%.

On imports inflation, she stated that the year-on-year inflation rate for imported items recorded 18.6% in October 2015, representing 1.7 percentage points higher than locally produced items at 16.9%.

Three regions, Upper West, Greater Accra and Ashanti, recorded inflation rates higher than the national average of 17.4%. The Upper West Region recorded the highest year-on-year inflation rate of 18.6%, while the Upper East Region recorded the lowest rate of 13.0%.

Upper West Region recorded the highest combined inflation rate and highest non-food inflation rate, while Volta Region recorded the highest food inflation rate in October 2015. Five commodity groups recorded inflation rates higher than the regional average of 18.6%.