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Review inflation rate calculation – Mona Quartey

A former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mona Quartey, has called on the Ghana Statistical Service to have a second look at the way inflation figures are calculated.

She explained on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class 91.3 FM on Thursday, 23 July 2020 that during the lockdown period following the confirmation of COVID-19 in Ghana, food prices went up, however, the inflation rate recorded low figures.

This, she said, smacks of wrong calculation because during that period, food imports fell, a situation that resulted in an overreliance on home-grown food items and the accompanying high prices of those items.

The inflation rate during that time should have gone up, she suggested.

“One of the things that have been touted as doing well is inflation. That our inflation is going down, we are experiencing single-digit inflation. I would like all of us to unpack what goes into calculating that inflation rate”, she told the host Benjamin Akakpo.

“In Ghana, the way we calculate our inflation is heavily weighted on imported food items, and if you noticed, during this COVID times, there wasn’t enough imported items coming in – the chicken, the tin tomatoes and the others, that are imported, we’re feeding more on local”, he noted.

“Therefore, local food prices went up, so, when they were showing inflation at 7 or 8 per cent, people were asking: how can inflation be at 8 or 9 per cent when prices of foods have gone up?” she asked.

“It is because the inflation calculation is heavily weighted on imported food items rather than locals; we need to look at that methodology again”.

“GSS, we need to look at how we calculate inflation so that it tells the true story.”

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