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13.01.2007 Business & Finance

Inflation registers slight increase

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The annual rate of inflation has increased slightly in December 2006, rising marginally by 0.2 points to 10.5% from the previous figure of 10.3% registered in November.

Professor Nicholas N. N. Nsowah-Nuamah, Government Statistician, who announced this on Friday, said the slight increase contrasted with the consistent drop in the rate of inflation for the last four months.

Inflation had gradually declined from 11.4% in July to 10.3% in November 2006.

Prof. Nsowah-Nuamah said the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 2.45 points from 455.40 in November 2006 to 457.85 in December 2006.

However, the monthly change/rate of inflation, which is the CPI of December 2006, compared with that of the previous month November 2006 was 0.5 per cent.

Prof. Nsowah-Nuamah said the food and beverages group contributed 1.46 points to the change in the national index, while the eight non-food groups altogether contributed 0.99 points to the change in the national index in December 2006.

Fish, which accounted for 0.43 points was the highest contributor to the upward change in the index within the food and beverages group while non-alcoholic drinks, pulses and nuts were the lowest upwards contributors, with 0.02 points each.

Prof. Nsowah-Nuamah said within the non-food group, education and recreation had the highest upward movement of the index with 0.31 points.

In contrast, clothing and footwear group were down with -0.03 point, the largest downward effect on the national index. The transport and communication group was unchanged.

Prof. Nsowah-Nuamah said the rise was not surprising but predicted the attainment of single digit inflation by April 2007, barring any hike in oil prices on the international market.

He announced that the Statistical Service would come out with a new series of the CPI and the Producer Price Index, while presenting inflation figures for January 2007.

Prof. Nsowah-Nuamah appealed to industries, which had not yet provided their data to do so to enable the Service to provide a holistic view of price trends in the country.

Reacting to the slight rise, Finance Minister, Baah-Wiredu said it gave no cause for worry.

He said it was important to understand the fundamentals that contributed to the rise and to take appropriate steps to rectify the situation.

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