January inflation slows as price falls

Business News of Thursday, 12 February 2015

Source: Reuters

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Ghana’s annual consumer inflation slowed to 16.4 percent in January, from 17.0 percent the month before due to stable food prices and a fall in oil prices, the statistics office said on Wednesday.

The figure is higher than average inflation in the region, a sign of fiscal problems facing the West African state, whose economy for years was seen as one of the continent’s brightest due to its rapid growth based on gold, oil and cocoa exports.

The government expects to secure a deal with the International Monetary Fund by the end of March for around $1 billion in financial assistance aimed at stabilising inflation, reducing the deficit and restoring economic stability.

The government decreased oil prices by 10 percent in January to reflect a global slump in fuel prices.

“The source of the easing is largely the stability in food prices that we have seen in recent months, supported by the decrease in oil prices,” deputy government statistician Baah Wadieh told a news conference.

January food inflation rose slightly to 6.9 percent from 6.8 percent the previous month, while non-food inflation stood at 23 percent compared to 23.9 percent in December, he said.

Mineral water, soft drinks and fruit recorded the highest inflation in the food group at 16.7 percent. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels saw inflation of 32.3 percent, Wadieh said.

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