Government statistician, Dr Philomena Nyarko has warned Former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr Mahamadou Bawumia, to refrain from making unsubstantiated allegations against the Ghana Statistical Service.
Dr Philomena Nyarko’s comments follow accusations from Dr Bawumia that the Ghana Statistical Service and the Bank of Ghana were cooking up inflation and exchange rate figures.
According to Dr Mahamadou Bawumia ‘statistics on exchange rates from the Bank of Ghana and inflation from the GSS are in my humble opinion, not credible’.
Dr Bawumia questioned the forex exchange rate being churned out by the Bank of Ghana.
‘Where in Ghana today can you buy a dollar at close to GHC3.03? The large spread between the Bank of Ghana exchange rate and the interbank exchange rate indicates that the Bank of Ghana rate is being administratively set and not market driven. The BoG exchange rate is unchanged even in the face of an increase in the pipeline of demands for foreign exchange that it cannot meet. Price should normally increase when demand exceeds supply but this is not what we are observing in the BoG forex market’
The former deputy governor also questioned inflation figures from the Ghana Statistical Service.
According to him ‘something is not quite right and the GSS should take another look at the numbers’.
He adds that ‘the rate of increase of prices in 2014 by our collective experience is clearly the highest in recent times, underpinned by the 40% depreciation of the exchange so far this year, increases in petroleum, utility and transportation prices, etc.. The prices of most goods and services have virtually doubled and continue to increase daily.
This notwithstanding, the Ghana Statistical service data on inflation suggests that price increases in 2014 are slower than they were last year (2013). Between January and July 2014 inflation increased by only 1.5% (13.8% to15.3%) after all the increases in petroleum, utilities and other prices we have witnessed.
For the same period in 2013, inflation increased by 1.7%. This means that we were experiencing marginally faster price increases in 2013 than in 2014. Unfortunately this data does not capture our collective experience. Almost every individual, household, business would tell you that prices are increasing much faster this year than has been observed in many years. So why is the Statistical Service data not capturing this?
But reacting to Dr Bawumia’s assertion, Government statistician Dr Philomena Nyarko speaking to Citi Business News, said Dr Bawumia’s analysis is flawed and inaccurate.
‘He was just picking items from the market and we don’t know which market he visited and computing and telling us that these are the inflation rates. You can’t do that kind of analysis. he should refrain from doing such analysis.’ She said
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