The prices of goods and services remained relatively stable between February and March this year. According to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the national year-on-year inflation rate was 10.3% in March 2021. This is the same as the 10.3% recorded in February 2021.
In the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) released on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, the GSS noted that the month-on-month inflation between February and March 2021 was 0.9%. This is slightly higher than the 0.8% recorded in February.
Meanwhile, further details show that the inflation rate for ’Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas’ rose to 29.0%, up from 23.4% in February. Also, ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ recorded an inflation rate of 10.8% in March 2021. Even though inflation within this sub-group went down from 12.3%, it was the highest rates of inflation in March.
“March 2021 inflation was 10.3%. This shows relative stability in inflation between February and March 2021. On a month-on-month basis, Food inflation was 0.2%, which is lower than 7 other Divisions. Education Services recorded no month-on-month inflation”.Professor Samuel Annim Kobina, Government Statistician
Furthermore, at the regional level, the overall year-on-year inflation ranged from 5.3% in the Volta Region to 17.0% in Greater Accra Region. This means that inflation is still highest in the capital city of the country. Meanwhile, it was only in the Greater Accra Region that Non-Food inflation outpaced Food inflation. The region recorded Food inflation rate of 11.5% as against Non-Food inflation of 21.0%.
However, the Eastern Region recorded the largest difference in Food and Non-Food inflation in March. Food inflation was 14.7% whilst Non-Food inflation was 1.7%. Overall, year-on-year inflation went up in four regions in March compared to February.
The GSS noted that in March, Food inflation was 10.8%. This was both lower than the 12.3% recorded in February and the average of the previous 12 months of 12.8%. As a result, Food inflation decreased in its contribution to total inflation to 46.3%, “the lowest contribution observed since February 2020”.
Also, overall month-on-month Food inflation was 0.2% in March 2021. Meanwhile, with the exception of Education Services, all other Divisions recorded positive month-on-month inflation in March.
Besides, within the Food Division, Tea recorded the highest rate of inflation of 16.7%. Vegetables and Fish and Other Seafood recorded negative month-on-month inflation of -0.1% and -0.1% respectively in March 2021.
In contrast to Food inflation, Non-Food year-on-year inflation on average went up to 10.0% in March compared to 8.8% in February. Out of the 13 Divisions, six had higher year-on-year inflation in March 2021 than the rolling average over the last 12 months. Especially, Housing recorded a high rate of inflation of 29.0%. Greater Accra recorded a high rate of month-on-month inflation for Housing as compared to other regions. The GSS explained that this high rate was as a result of an observed increase in rent prices.
Moreover, average month-on-month Non-Food inflation remained stable at1.4% in February and March 2021. On a month-on-month basis, Ashanti Region recorded the highest overall inflation of 2.0%. Upper West Region recorded the lowest rate of -0.9%. In Ashanti region, higher rate of inflation was recorded for only 1 out of 13 Divisions between February and March 2021 as compared to the same period in 2020.
Imported and Local Inflation
Furthermore, inflation of imported goods was 6.8%, up from 6.7% in February 2021. Conversely, the inflation for locally produced items remained the same at 11.7% on average between February and March 2021. Month-on-month inflation for imported goods was 0.5% whilst that of locally produced goods 1.0%.