The Ghana Statistical Service is challenging the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s running mate Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia over questions raised about inflation figures released by the institution.
Addressing the media after releasing the country’s producer price index forum, acting government statistician, Dr. Philomena Nyarko says there were rather serious issues with figures put out by the former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana.
She said the Service is unaware of how the Ministry of Agriculture came by the figures Dr Bawumia mentioned in his speech.
“I don’t know where they are getting the figures to compare with ours. We have a laid down procedure – a methodology, for collecting our information and I don’t know how the Ministry of Agric collects their information.”
Dr Nyarko said the figures mentioned by the NPP running mate will be subjected to scrutiny
We will also contact the Agriculture Ministry to find out the methodology they used and how they came about their figures, she added.
She also raised doubts on the figures mentioned by Dr Bawumia concerning the price of certain food items.
“When you look at the speech, the figures quoted for the same items are different so even in that speech there are inconsistencies in the figures quoted. We can’t just get up and compare prices.”
In a related development, Ghana’s annual producer price inflation slowed to 21.8 percent in February from a revised 23.6 percent year-on-year the month before, driven by declining prices of gold and refined petroleum, the national statistics office said on Wednesday.
The figure, which is high compared to average inflation in the region, is an indication of fiscal challenges facing the West African country.
Ghana has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a $940 million aid package to stabilise an economy dogged by deficits and widening debts.
The statistical office said producer inflation for the Mining and Quarrying sub-sector decreased by 7.1 percentage points, driven by gold prices. Manufacturing, which comprises petroleum refining, fell one percentage point.
“Overall, the pull-down factors in the producer index for all industry in February were declining gold prices and a decrease in the cost of refined petroleum,” the government statistician said.
The month-on-month change in PPI between January and February was 1.4 percent, Dr Nyarko revealed.
Producer price inflation is an advance indicator of consumer price inflation which inched up to 16.5 percent February, from 16.4 percent the month before.
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