The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has jumped to the defence of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) on the credibility of inflation figures released by the service.
In recent times, some persons including the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have questioned the credibility and results of the inflation figures provided by the GSS, the institution mandated to collect data on prices of commodities on the market.
The NPP was demanding more detailed figures of the price index of the 240 commodities surveyed by the Service in both urban and rural areas to determine the inflation rate.
Officials at the GSS have already refuted the claims saying the inflation figures they put out are more credible and clean, arguing that because it works with various international agencies such as the IMF, World Bank among others it doesn’t play with figures.
The BoG, who also conducts surveys on commodity prices in urban centres independently, says their inflation figures are consistent with that of the GSS.
“The inflation figures that they have taken are professionally done and they are consistent with ours which means we are all operating and checking prices on the same market,” said Mr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, governor of the central bank, during a news conference in Accra when he was asked about the credibility of the GSS’s inflation rates.
“We construct an urban price index. We believe that the GSS is absolutely correct in what they have done because our survey which is done independently of them supports the results that they are getting. So every month we do a survey, our result comes out two weeks earlier before theirs.”
Mr Amissah-Arthur added “We have compared our inflation figures with the one of the GSS and the trends are very clear. I trust the GSS is doing a good job.”
The central bank relies on the GSS figures to determine the policy rate, the base rate at which commercial banks should lend to borrowers.
Dr. Grace Bediako, Head of the Statistical Service at one time during a press conference said her outfit is considering broadcasting to the nation on television how it collects data and inputs them in their software which results in the monthly inflation rates.
Listen to governor of the Bank of Ghana respond to question on the reliability of GSS’s inflation figures on attached audio: [audio:http://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/BoG-on-inflation-report.mp3|titles=BoG on inflation report]
By Ekow Quandzie