By John Ikani
The rate of inflation in Ghana has risen to its highest level in almost a decade as supply shocks caused by the war in Ukraine stoked increases in food, fuel and fertilizer prices.
Annual inflation accelerated to 19.4% — the highest since August 2009 — from 15.7% in February, far exceeding the central bank’s target of between 6% and 10%. Government Statistician Samuel Kobina Annim told reporters Wednesday in Accra, the capital.
The bank raised interest rates last month in an effort to curb rampant price rises, which analysts say threaten to plunge one of West Africa’s largest economies into crisis.
Food-price growth surged to 22.4% year-on-year from 17.4% in February, while non-food inflation accelerated to 17% in March from 14.5% in the previous month.
“We were not expecting an increase of this magnitude,” Razia Khan, head of research for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank, said. “It calls into question whether there will be a near-term peak” in the inflation rate, she said.
The government has also announced a package of spending cuts to try to reduce its budget deficit and prop up the local currency.