Ghana’s inflation speeds up to nearly 6-year high but c-bank sees easing strain and maintains key rate

By bne IntelliNews July 16, 2015

Ghana’s annual consumer price inflation accelerated for the fifth month in a row in June, rising to a nearly 6-year high of 17.1% from 16.9% in May, but the central bank saw easing inflationary pressures and kept its policy rate on hold at 22%.

The persistent inflationary pressures prompted the Bank of Ghana to hike its policy rate by 100bp in May after lifting it by a cumulative 500bp last year. Inflation expectations remain elevated, but the pressures in the medium-term outlook are diminishing "as a result of the tight monetary policy stance, continuing fiscal consolidation and the recent recovery of the cedi," the Bank of Ghana said in a statement after its monetary policy meeting held on July 15.

Ghana’s annual non-food inflation rate, which has a 56.43% weight in the CPI basket, quickened to 23.6% last month from 23.4% in May, while food inflation edged up to 7.4% from 7.3%, data from the Ghana Statistical Service showed.

The monthly CPI inflation rose to 1.8% last month from 1.0% in May.

Ghana started earlier this year an IMF-backed $918mn 3-year economic programme that should help restore macroeconomic stability and win back investor confidence. The West African country’s economy was hit by weak governance and power shortages coupled with subdued global commodity prices that hurt its key exports of gold, oil, and cocoa.

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