Cedi depreciation drives consumer inflation upward in March

David Kombat, Deputy Government Statistician with New Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim

The depreciation cedi during the first quarter of the year, ending in March has driven the increase in the inflation for the period, for the second consecutive period to 9.3 percent from 9.2 percent in February, year on year (y-o-y).

According to the data released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the months inflation was influenced by the annual growth in inflation for the imported goods, which increased to 11. 1 percent, representing a 2.6 percentage points higher than that of the locally produced goods at 8.5 percent.

This month’s inflation is the highest since December, 2018.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the change over time in the general price level of goods and services that households acquire for the purpose of consumption.

During the press briefing on Wednesday, the Deputy Government Statistician, David Kombat noted that the increase in the inflation for the month was partly due to the increase in the inflation for the food sub-group.

Food sub-group

Inflation for the food sub-group in March 2019 was at 8.4 percent compared with 8.1 percent in the same period in 2018.

The main price drivers for the food sub-group were coffee, tea and cocoa at 13 percent, mineral water, soft drinks, fruit drinks

The main price drivers for the food and non-alcoholic beverages group was driven by four components, which recorded inflation rates higher than the group’s average rate of 8.4 percent. The subgroups were Coffee, tea and cocoa (13.0 percent), Mineral water, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices (11.1 percent), Fruits (10.2 percent), Meat and meat products (9.1 percent).

Non-food group

The Non-food group recorded a year-on-year inflation rate of 9.7 percent in March 2019, same as the rate recorded for February 2019. Four subgroups recorded year-on-year inflation rates higher than the group’s average rate of 9.7 percent.

Recreation and culture recorded the highest inflation rate of 14.1 percent, followed by transport with 13.7 percent, clothing and footwear with 13.3 percent, and furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance with 12.2 percent  inflation was lowest in the housing, water, electricity, gas and others fuels subgroup 2.1 percent.

Regional differentials

At the regional level, the inflation rate ranged from 7.7 percent in the Upper East Region to 10.8 percent in Upper West region.

Four regions (Upper West, Brong Ahafo, Western and Ashanti) recorded inflation rates above the national average rate of 9.3 percent.

Upper West region recorded the highest y-o-y inflation rate of 11.4 percent, followed by Brong Ahafo region 10.2 percent, while the Upper East Region recorded the lowest y-o-y inflation rate of 7.9 percent during the period.

By Joshua W. Amlanu