Inflation for the month of August inched up to 9.9 per cent, 0.3 percentage points higher than the 9.6 per cent recorded for July 2018, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has announced.
The increases were informed by rising prices of food and non-food items used for measuring changes in prices, relative to the same period the previous year.
In spite of the slight hikes in prices, the monthly change rate for August 2018 was 0.0 per cent, compared to 0.4 per cent recorded in July 2018.
Inflation, which is determined by 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.
The acting Government Statistician, Mr. Baah Wadieh, who addressed the media in Accra on Wednesday, said the rise in inflation after a downward trend was largely influenced by the depreciating cedi and hikes in fuel prices in the month under review.
“We all realised the inflation rates for both food and non-food groups went up. The underlying cause is the base rate effect, as well as depreciation of the cedi and the inching up of fuel prices,” he said.
Food and non-food inflation
The food inflation basket of the CPI recorded a rate of 7.9 per cent, 0.5 percentage points higher than the 7.4 per cent recorded in July 2018. The non-food basket, which has consistently gone up in the last 12 months, also recorded an inflation rate of 10.8 per cent in August 2018, compared to the 10.7 per cent recorded for July 2018.
Mr Wadieh explained that the year-on-year non-food inflation rate of 10.8 per cent was more than the 1.25 per cent food inflation rate.
He said the main drivers of the non-food inflation were clothing and footwear (15.2 per cent), transport (15.1 per cent), recreation and culture (13.9 per cent), furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance (12.6 per cent) and miscellaneous goods and services (11.9 per cent).
The price drivers for the food inflation rate were coffee, tea and cocoa (11.3 per cent), fruits (10.6 per cent), meat and meat products (10.0 per cent), mineral water, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices (9.3 per cent) and vegetables (8.4 per cent).
In August 2018, the year-on-year inflation rate for imported items was 11.7 per cent, 2.6 percentage points higher than that of locally produced items which stood at 9.1 per cent.
At the regional level, Mr Wadieh said five regions —Upper West, Brong Ahafo, Western, Ashanti and Northern — recorded inflation rates higher than the national average of 9.9 per cent.
“Upper West Region recorded the highest year-on-year inflation rate of 11.8 per cent, followed by Brong Ahafo with 10.8 per cent, while the Upper East Region recorded the lowest year-on-year inflation of 8.2 per cent in August 2018,” he said.