Inflation figures go up after rebasing

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Inflation figures from January to May 2013 shot up after the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) released the rebased Consumer Price Index (CPI), using 2012 as its base index.

Using the new index, inflation for January went up to 10.1 per cent from 8.8 per cent for the old index, February’s rate was 10.5 per cent as against 10.0 per cent for the old index and March’s rate also went up to 10.6 per cent from the 10.4 per cent recorded using the old index.

April’s rate, using the old index, was also 10.6 per cent but after rebasing it rose to 10.9 per cent and the rate for May was 11.1 per cent as against 10.9 per cent recorded, using the old index.

Inflation rate is measured by the CPI and looked at the change over time in the general price levels of goods and services that households acquired for the purpose of consumption.

The acting Government Statistician, Dr Philomena Nyarko, who announced this, said the CPI was rebased to make the indices reflect current household consumption patterns, adding that household consumption patterns changed over time in response to a change in products and/or incomes of households.

As a rule, Dr Nyarko said rebasing should take place every five years or at any time when the spending pattern of consumers observed to have changed; these are the most appropriate times to revise the CPI basket. The rebasing of the CPI was the fifth time in Ghana.

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The rebased CPI shows an increase in the number of markets covered from 40 to 42 while items covered have also been increased 242 to 267 and was computed based on the Ghana Living Standards Survey 5 (GLSS 5).

Dr Nyarko explained that the new CPI would be published side-by-side of the existing CPI until December 2013, adding that the new CPI reflected current expenditure patterns other than the existing one.

Meanwhile, inflation from the producer’s perspective, also known as Producer Price Inflation (PPI), declined to 8.6 per cent, compared to 10.6 per cent recorded in April 2012.

The manufacturing sub-sector recorded the highest year-on-year producer inflation rate of 13.2 per cent, followed by the utilities sub-sector with 0.9 per cent, while the mining and quarrying recorded a negative inflation rate of 1.9 per cent.

 By Jessica Acheampong