The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) yesterday launched and also released the first ever Producer Price Index (PPI) in the Country.
The PPI which was developed in Ghana in January 2006 with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the auspices of the General Data Dissemination Standards (GDDS) project for Anglophone Africa would seek to measure the average change over-time in the prices received by domestic producers of goods and services.
The PPI is a measure of the percentage changes in a set of prices over-time, each month prices are collected for a group of well-defined and clearly described products. These prices collected during a specific point in the month are compared with prices at another point in the past. The Producer Price Index covers the manufacturing, utilities such as electricity and water as well as the mining sector in the country.
Speaking at the launching, the Government Statistician, Prof Nicholas Nsowah-Nuamah, stated that the introduction of the PPI would provide a more complete picture of price movement and trends for policy-makers and private sector decision-makers adding that the two indices put together give a more complete picture. He said consumers prices can differ due to government subsidies, sale and excise taxes, and distribution costs.
Prof Nsowah-Nuamah pointed out that, in Ghana, care is taken to ensure that prices reflect those at the time the transaction occurs and not prices at the time of delivery, adding that the prices collected refer to cash sales and are factory-gate prices exclusive of taxes and transportation margins.
According to him every effort is made to ensure that questionnaires are returned in a timely manner but said if it doesn't then the price for that product would be imputed using one of the two methods.
He said the PPI is subject to revision and is not considered final until after some months. Citing an example, he said with the February 2007 index, it would be considered final and not subjected to any further revision in May 2007.
He assured the producers that it is only an accredited Ghana Statistical Service staff who would be allowed access to individual establishment price reports. The Government Statistician added that the data collected from the manufacturers would be treated with high confidentiality.
The Chairman of the launching, Dr Osei Boeh-Ocansey also Director General of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) said, his members would be educated about the usefulness of the PPI and make meaningful contribution during the collection of data.