Average consumer prices have risen for the fourth consecutive month in September after falling to a year-long low of 7.5 percent in May this year.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), September recorded a year-on-year inflation rate of 10.6 percent. This is 0.9 percentage points higher than the rate of 9.7 percent recorded in August 2021. It is the first time since February 2021 that the country recorded a double digit inflation.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service, the hike in inflation in September is triggered by high prices in the Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other Fuels sub-class which recorded an inflation of 18.7 percent.
The overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2021 was 132.6 relative to 119.8 recorded in the corresponding month of 2020. In absolute terms, the current inflation rate (10.6%) is marginally higher than the 10.4 percent recorded in September 2020.
Meanwhile, month-on-month inflation between August and September 2021 was 0.6 percent. This is 0.3 percentage points higher than the 0.3 percent recorded in August. Moreover, the current month-on -month inflation is a percentage point lower than the 1.6 percent recorded in July.
Worryingly, food inflation has gone up significantly over the past one month. This could reflect the shortage in some of the staple foods such as maize which resulted in price hikes. According to the GSS, Food inflation rose to 11.5 percent from 10.9 percent recorded in August this year. It is also above the average of the previous 12 months of 10.4 percent.
Still, it is 2 percentage points higher than 9.5 percent recorded in July and also 4.2 percentage points higher than June which recorded 7.3 percent food inflation.
However, Food inflation’s contribution to total inflation dropped from 50.2% last month to 48.6% in September. Overall month-on-month food inflation was 0.0%, which is lower than the twelve-month national average month-on-month inflation.
Vegetables, coffee and coffee substitutes, and cereal products were the only subclass that recorded a negative month-on-month inflation.
The Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Annim Kobina expressed concerns over the rising food inflation in some parts of the country.
“Inflation, especially Food Inflation, continues to soar in the three Northern regions”.Professor Samuel Annim Kobina
At the regional level, the overall year-on-year inflation ranged from 2.7 percent in the Eastern Region to 16.8 percent in Upper West Region. Volta Region recorded the highest month-on-month inflation of 3.6 percent in September. Five regions (Brong Agafo, Eastern, Greater Accra, Upper East and Upper West) recorded negative month-on-month inflation rates in September. Transport either recorded positive month-on-month inflation or remained unchanged across all the regions.
The rise in average prices of the commodities also reflected in the Non-food inflation basket. All the twelve non Food Division recorded positive month-on-month inflation with a maximum of 2.9 percent. Non-food commodities recorded a year-on-year inflation rate of 9.9 percent in September compared to 8.7 percent in August and 8.6 percent in July. It is also higher than the 6.2 percent recorded in June.
Out of the 13 Division, six had higher year-on-year inflation in September 2021 than the rolling average over the last 12 months. Transport is the Division that recorded the biggest difference of 13.6 percent compared to the 12-month rolling average of 8.9 percent. Housing, Water, Electricity and Gas recorded a relatively high inflation of 18.7 percent in September compared to the rolling average of 20.0 percent.
Local and imported inflation
The inflation for imported goods was 8.1 percent in September, same as recorded in August. Inflation for imported goods rose by 1.0 percentage points in August from 7.1 percent in July. Since declining from 7.3 percent in May to 7.0 percent in June, inflation for imported goods has continued to rise. However, the recent figures show that prices of imported commodities are gaining some stability in the country.
Conversely, inflation for locally produced items recorded a massive jump to 11. 5 percent in September, up from 10.3 percent in August 2021. Inflation for domestically produced goods was 9.4 percent in July after it rose from 7.9 percent in June 2021. Since May this year, inflation of locally produced goods have been on the rise. This is running counter to the country’s quest to encourage the patronage of made in Ghana products.