The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) will announce a new inflation rate tomorrow. The new figure will reflect the current consumption trands in the country.
It is not clear which direction the rate will be heading but it has been predicted that whether up or down, the change will be marginal from the last rate of 10 per cent as of June.
Meanwhile, the GSS, has completed the rebasing of the consumer price index (CPI), the average change in prices of goods and services, which is measured by inflation.
The new CPI takes its base year from 2017, up from the old one, and used 2012 as the base year, and is expected to ensure that the basket of products and services used in calculating inflation reflects current consumption trends.
New figures of the CPI are expected to be released on August 15, when considerations from stakeholder suggestions are made.
Why the rebasing
The rationale behind the rebasing is to periodically change the price items that are based on a fixed basket of goods and services to reflect the current consumption patterns.
Mr Asuo Afram, the Director of Economic Statistics, said, “We know that expenditure patterns have changed, so anytime expenditure patterns or consumer patterns change, there is need to increase the CPI to reflect the actual consumption goods and services”.
He said this at a workshop organised by GSS to brief the media on the processes and mechanisms used in calculating the new rebased CPI figures.
Features of new CPI
The Director indicated that the new CPI takes its base year from 2017, up from the 2012 base year for the old one.
He added that the new CPI had a national coverage with regional distribution, unlike the CPI of some West African countries, which were in regional bases alone.
“The new CPI has a national coverage which means that we take the prices of goods and services from a sample of 44 markets nationwide,” he indicated.
He added that the new CPI has a market ratio of 15:29 in terms of sample markets in the urban and rural centers.
Mr Afram indicated that the number of price items of goods and services for the new CPI was 400, an increase from 267 from the old CPI.
He explained that education and ICT equipment constituted majority of the new items that were added to the new basket.
Mr Afram revealed that major stakeholders, such as the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Ministry of Finance and some universities raised concerns about some new items that had been added to the new price items at their stakeholder meeting which took place on August 9.
With that he said, the GSS was going to incorporate all suggestions before the figures are released on Wednesday, August 15.
“It is not too much work but we have to act on their suggestions. If we don’t meet the timeline, we will announce it to the public but I believe we will be able to release it on the said date,” he added.
As part of its sensitisation campaign on the rebasing exercise, GSS is required to invite the media for briefing on the mechanisms used in the rebasing after it had presented it to the management and major stakeholders of GSS.
The forum gave the media the opportunity to ask questions concerning the exercise, the rational for rebasing and the impact of producer prices to inform their writing.
This will enable the media to report accurately for the public to understand the exercise and have trust in the figures after it has been released.
“We are doing sensitisation for the media to understand the procedures we take in doing the rebasing so that they may come out with suggestions on how it should be improved. This sensitisation puts a lot of confidence in the people because everything is being done transparently,” he said. — GB