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Kofi Bentil: Government must tackle food inflation

Africa food market/inflation

Kofi Bentil, the vice-president of IMANI Africa has suggested to the government to tackle food inflation in a bid to lessen the impact of the current economic challenge on Ghanaians.

His comment comes after the Bank of Ghana raised the policy rate to 300 basis point from 19% to 22% to check rising inflation in the country.

“The inflation we are facing now is being driven by the poor economy, the Russia-Ukraine war and general rises in fuel, and it is driving global inflation,” he said on Townhall Talk on Asaase 99.5 Accra (19 August).

“That has exacerbated a local situation, and the local situation is our debt and the cedi,” Bentil said. “At IMANI  we have calculated that the Ukraine-Russia war affects 30% of what goes on here.”

“We can have a lot of inflation, but if the average Ghanaian wakes up and consumes a lot of local goods without imported inputs, he will not feel so much the effect of the inflation, …if we can focus on agriculture and make sure at least we have food inflation very low, the effect of inflation will not be so much felt,” Bentil said.

Listen to Kofi Bentil in the attached audio below:

Inflation rate for July 2022 hits 31.7%

The national year-on-year inflation rate was 31.7% in July 2022 which is 1.9 percentage points higher than the recorded 29.8% in June 2022, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has said.

This means that in the month of July 2022 the general price level was 31.7% higher than in July 2021.

The month-on-month inflation between June 2022 and July 2022 was 3.1%.

According to the Government Statistian, Prof Samuel Kobina Annim, the inflation rate for July was mainly driven by transport and utilities.

On a month-on-month basis three divisions {Transport (4.9%), Housing, Water, Electricity and Gas (3.8%), Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (3.3%)} record inflation rates higher than the national average (3.1%)}.

Six out of the 13 divisions recorded inflation rates higher than the national average (31.7%)

Transport (44.6%), Household Equipment and Maintenance (42.0%), Housing, Water, Electricity and Gas (43.0%), Personal Care and Miscellaneous Goods (33.7%), Recreation, Sports and Culture (33.8%) and Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (32.3%)} out of the 13 divisions recorded inflation rates higher than the national average (31.7%).

The GSS said, changes in year-on-year inflation between June (29.8%) and July 2022 (31.7%) have slowed down for three divisions namely Insurance and Financial Service, Information and Communication, and Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics.

For the fourth month in a row (since April 2022) imported items record higher inflation rates than locally produced items.

The gap widened in July 2022 (3.0 percentage points) relative to the variations recorded in the last three April (1.7 percentage points), May (0.9 percentage points) and June (2.1 percentage points).

Regional breakdown

Western Region recorded highest food inflation (44.8%) and Eastern Region, the highest non-food inflation (36.6%). Eastern Region recorded the overall highest inflation (38.1%) followed closely by Western Region (37.6%) and Greater Accra Region (35.5%).

Transport (64.5%) recorded the highest rate of inflation in the Eastern Region, for food inflation in the Central Region Oils and Fats had the highest rate of inflation of 63.5%.

Fred Dzakpata

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