Ghana consumer inflation rises to 16.5 pct in February

Business News of Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Source: reuters.com

Cocoa Workmen

Ghana’s annual consumer price inflation rose marginally to 16.5 percent in February, from 16.4 percent the previous month, driven by food prices, the statistics office said on Wednesday.

Economists say high inflation is a sign of the 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 driven by gold, oil and cocoa exports.

“The price drivers were food items, mainly the local staples,” government statistician Philomena Nyarko told a news conference in Accra. Ghana is currently in the planting season.

Nyarko said food inflation rose by 0.1 percentage point to 7.0 percent in February. Prices of non-food items remained unchanged at 23.0 percent.

Ghana reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund last month for a three-year aid deal worth $940 million as it seeks to tackle stubbornly high deficits, widening public debt and high inflation.

The deal, subject to Washington’s approval in April, could unlock additional donor and investor inflows in support of the local cedi currency, which is down around 8 percent since January.

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