Average prices of consumer commodities continued to rise as national year-on-year inflation rose by 3.7 percentage points in March 2022 compared to the rate of 15.7 percent recorded in February this year.
According to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released by Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the nominal CPI for March 2022 was 148.8 relative to 124.7 in March 2021. This means that in the month of March 2022, the general price level was 19.4% higher than in March 2021.
National year-on-year inflation was 13.9% in January 2022 but rose to 15.7% in the second month of the year before rising further in March. The rate of inflation in March was driven mainly by transport inflation which rose to 26.6% in March, higher than the average of 15.4% between April 2021 and March 2022. The average inflation rate for the first quarter of the year was 16.3%, higher than 11.9% in Q4 2021.
Month-on-month inflation between February 2022 and March 2022 was 4.0%, higher than the 2.4% recorded between January and February this year.
Food inflation and non-food inflation
Food inflation went up again in March by 5 percentage points to 22.4%, up from 17.4% in the previous month. The average over the last 12 months also went up to 11.8% in the third month of the year from 10.8% in February. Meanwhile, month-on-month Food inflation was 4.5% in March 2022.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service, the contribution of food and non-alcoholic beverages (51.4%) to overall inflation exceeded 50 percent in March. Contribution of food to total inflation continue to rise as it rose from 44.2% in January 2022 to 49.4% in February 2022 before the recent hike in March.
Across the 13 divisions, the rank of the top three has changed in March 2022. Rate of inflation for Transport (26.6%) surpassed both Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (22.4%) and Housing, Water, Electricity and Gas (21.4%). All the three recorded inflation rates higher than the national average (19.4%).
Inflation rates for three divisions in March 2022- Household equipment and maintenance (18.5%); Recreation, Sports and Culture (17.0%); and Personal Care and Miscellaneous Goods (17.0%) were at least twice the rates for the rolling average from April 2021 to March 2022.
Rate of inflation for Insurance and Financial Services for March 2022 (3.0%) was the only division that records a rate lower than the rolling average from April 2021 to March 2022 (6.5%).
Month-on-month non-food inflation
On a month-on-Month basis, all 13 divisions except Housing, Water, Electricity and Gas, recorded rates inflation higher than February 2022 and the rolling average from April 2021 to March 2022.
Transport (8.5%) recorded the highest rate, more than twice the national month-on-month inflation (4.0%) and food and non-alcoholic beverages had the second highest of 4.5%.
Inflation for locally produced items rose significantly to 20.0 percent in March 2022, up from 11.7% recorded in February and was 8.7 percentage points higher than the rate recorded in January. Similarly, inflation for imported items was 17.3% in March, up from 6.7 percent recorded in the second month of the year.