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Ghana’s inflation rate rises to 8.56% in October as Christmas gets close

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With barely two months to the Christmas season, Ghana’s inflation rate for October 2011 rose to 8.56% from 8.40% in September, according to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) figures released November 9, 2011 in Accra.

The monthly change for October 2011 that is between September 2011 and October 2011, the GSS says slipped 0.80%.

The GSS explained that the rise in inflation in October 2011 was mainly due to the rise in the general price level of the food and non-alcoholic beverage group. “The inflation rate for the food and non-alcoholic beverages group increased from 3.74% in September 2011 to 4.03% in October 2011, while the non-food recorded a marginal increase of 0.02 percentage points above the September 2011 rate (11.30%).”

According to Dr Grace Bediako, Head of the Service, the non-food group, with a combined weight of 55.09%, had five sub-groups recording inflation rates above the group’s average of 11.32 percent. “They include Transport (23.00%); Miscellaneous goods and services (18.19%); Clothing and footwear (13.71%); Furnishings, household equipment, etc. (13.19%); and Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics (12.26%),” she said.

The GSS said the food and non-alcoholic beverages group, on the other hand, recorded single digit inflation rate over the past 12 months ranging between 5.62% October 2010 and 4.03% in October 2011. The lowest rate of 2.78% was recorded in June 2011.

The inflation rate has remained at single digit level since June 2010. Over the past 12 months the rate has ranged between 9.38 percent and 8.39 percent. The year 2011 began with a rate of 9.08%, increased to 9.16% in February, before falling continuously to 8.39% in July 2011. The rate stabilised thereafter, recording 8.41 and 8.40% in August and September 2011 respectively.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has predicted a single inflation digit of 9% at the end of the year but as the Christmas season comes by, it expected that cost of goods will increase thereby triggering the rate to jump.

The central bank held its policy rate (interest rate) at 12.5%, three times in a row.

By Ekow Quandzie

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