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17.12.2004 Business & Finance

Inflation Down To 12.3%

By THE STATESMAN

Statesman -- The NPP Government's prudent management of the economy even during electioneering period seems to be clearly reflected in the just released monthly report of the Ghana Statistical Service which indicates that Ghana has recorded another decline in inflation at 12.3% for the month of November.

Though a marginal annual change of 1% compared to that of October's 12.4%, it, however, stands out as an all-time improvement in the performance of the economy in the past five years at this period of the year.

Compared to the month of October 2004, the national index for November 2004 was 358.00, showing a monthly increase of 0.4%. This difference was brought about by the changes recorded in the sub-groups such as food and beverages (0.4%), alcohol and tobacco (0.3%), medical care (0.5%) and transport and communication (0.4%).

The urban and rural indices equally indicated slight changes of 0.1% and 0.04% respectively. In the urban food and beverages sub-group the consumer price index (CPI) report recorded a “no perceptible change” but a slight decrease of 0.5% in the rural Index, reflecting the effect of this year's poor harvest.

The Statistical Service inflation rate analysis further showed the average annual inflation rate for food for the month of November 2004 decreased from 17.6% of the month of October 2004 to 17.1%, while that of non-food declined from 12.8% of October 2004 to 11.5% of November 2004.

This performance, against existing significant economic pressures, has been described by economists as a conglomerate result of prudent economic management, indicative of a macro economy under control. Despite the added pressure of elections to the usual spending inclination at this time of the year, a sustained decline in the inflation rate is considered quite significant.

In November 1999, the inflation rate was 13.2%; in 2000, it was 39.5%; 2001-23.7%; 2002-14.0% and 2003-23.8%.

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