GSS Disputes Bawumia’s Claim

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Dr. Philomena Nyarko
Dr. Philomena Nyarko, Government Statistician, has described claims by Dr. Mahamadou Bawumia, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) about inflation rate as inaccurate and misleading.

According to the Government Statistician, Dr Bawumia’s calculation was methodologically wrong, debunking reports that GSS cooked inflation figures.

Dr. Bawumia recently accused the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) of cooking up inflation figures, stating that statistics on inflation from the GSS were not credible.

According to him, ‘Something is not quite right and the GSS should take another look at the numbers.’

Reacting to Bawumia’s claims at a press conference in Accra yesterday, Dr. Nyarko said, ‘Dr. Bawumia is misleading and throwing dust into the eyes of the public.

‘There is no way we can massage the figures. The way he does his inflation calculations is different from the way statistical service does its calculations.’

She said there were 267 items (goods and services) whose price changes were used in computing the Consumer Price Index.

She could not fathom why Dr. Bawumia touched on the effect of a few items and ignored that of the majority of goods and services which constitute the consumer basket.

‘One cannot overlook the effect of the depreciation of the cedi on inflation but before we do any meaningful analysis of the depreciation of the cedi on inflation, we should consider the number of items in the basket that are imported and their relative weights in the basket.

‘It is possible that Dr. Bawumia did not take account of the base-drift effect on inflation rates in his article. It should be noted that the base drift effect tends to reflect a lower rate of change because of the division of the current index by a higher base number,’ Dr. Nyarko said.

She said GSS has been producing Consumer Price Indices and inflation for the country since 1965, explaining that in computing these indices, GSS adopts internationally acceptable standards, methodologies and best practices.

Dr. Nyarko urged Dr. Bawumia to refrain from making unsubstantiated allegations against the GSS.

By Cephas Larbi
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