Business News of 2014-07-12

Price levels in Upper East highest in the country

......records highest inflation rate of 18.3%

Residents of the Upper East Region are bearing the severest brunt of the current economic hardships the nation is going through as the Region recorded an unenviable 18.3 per cent inflation rate for the month of June, the highest among all the ten regions of the country.

With this curious inflation rate, the Upper East left behind the Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern and Western regions, all which recorded regional rates of inflation far above the national average of 15.0 per cent. Central Region recorded 16.3 per cent; Eastern, 16.1 per cent; Greater Accra per cent, 15.5; Northern, 17.5 per cent and Western 16.2 per cent. The 15.0 per cent is the highest since March 2014

The other regions recorded the following rates: Ashanti, 13.5 per cent; Brong-Ahafo, 13.5 per cent, Upper West, 13.3 per cent; and Volta, 13.1 per cent.

These were contained in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June 2014, presented by the Government Statistician, Dr Mrs Phillomena Nyarko, at a news conference by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) last Wednesday in Accra. The national average for May was 14.8 per cent, representing 0.2 per cent rise.

The Upper East, Upper West, Northern and Central regions are said to be the four poorest regions in the country.

The CPI measures the average change over time in the general price level of goods and services that households acquire for the purpose of consumption, with reference to the price level in 2012, the base year, which has an index of 100.

The rate of inflation for June is the percentage change in the CPI over a 12- month period, from June 2013 to June 2014.

The highlights of the presentation made by Dr Mrs Nyarko included the following:

The monthly change rate in June 2014 was 1.6% compared with the 0.9% recorded in May 2014.

The year-on-year non-food inflation rate for June 2014 was 20.3% compared to the 20.0% recorded for May 2014.

The year-on-year food inflation rate for June 2014 was 7.9%; a fall of 0.1 point from the 8.0% recorded for May 2014.

The year-on-year non-food inflation rate for (20.3%) is more than two and half times higher than the food inflation rate (7.9%).

The year-on-year inflation rate for imported items (19.1%) is about one and half times higher than the inflation rate for locally produced ITEMS (13.5%).

The main “price drivers” for the non-food inflation rate were housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (53.6%) and transport (26.6%).

The “price drivers” for the food inflation rate were mineral water, soft drinks, fruit juices (21.7%), coffee, tea and cocoa (14.2%), milk, cheese and eggs (12.6%), sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery (12.3%), oils and fats (11.6%), meat and meat products (10.5%) and cereals and cereals products (9.4%).