Statistical Service to rebase three economic indices

BY: Jessica Acheampong

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) is to conduct a number of surveys to enable it to collect data needed to rebase its three main economic indicators namely the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Producer Price Index and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

As part of the process, the GSS would conduct the second phase of the Integrated Business Establishment Survey (IBES II) from November to December, and data from the survey would help in rebasing the PPI.

At a news conference to announce the Producer Price Index (PPI) for September in Accra, the Government Statistician, Dr Philomena Nyarko, said the rebasing of the indices would require a lot of data, which were expected to reflect changes that had taken place over time with respect to the baskets used to calculate each of the economic indicators.

“We have a statistics production plan and that is what we have been following over the years. What we have done is to implement the IBES.  Subsequently, we will be implementing other surveys to help us get the data we need,” she said.

According to Dr Nyarko, all the economic indicators would be revised, adding,  “we are going to revise the CPI, PPI and the GDP. But we need certain types of data to be able to do that, that’s why, for example, we are conducting the IBES which will help us to rebase the PPI.”

The successful completion of  the IBES Phase II would update the indicators and also provide the government and the private sector with reliable, timely and relevant information that would inform the formulation of policies.

For the CPI, she said, the GSS would use data from its Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS6) or any of their household surveys to rebase it.

The GSS rebased the CPI in May 2013 to reflect current household consumption patterns which changed over time in response to changes in products and/or incomes of households.

The rebased CPI in 2013 showed an increase in the number of markets covered from 40 to 42, while items covered increased from 242 to 267. It was computed based on the Ghana Living Standards Survey 5 (GLSS 5).

No timelines yet

Although the GSS would not explicitly state when the rebasing was expected to take place, Dr Nyarko explained that availability of funds to carry out the surveys would determine when the exercises would be done.

For instance, the GDP was expected to be rebased in 2017, but according to her, it was likely activities required to do the rebasing might extend further to 2018.

“The GDP would require data from the PPI, CPI and even the agricultural census so that is what we have been planning. For the GDP, it will take some time because the amount of data we need to do the rebasing is very huge,” she said.

Ghana’s GDP is currently based on a 2006 survey, while the PPI is based on a 2003 survey.

September PPI

Meanwhile, inflation from the producer’s perspective dropped to 3.7 per cent in September 2015, 0.2 percentage points lower than the revised 3.9 per cent recorded in August 2015.

The PPI measures the average change over time in the prices received by domestic producers for the production of their goods and services.

The utilities sub-sector recorded an inflation rate of 7.2 per cent in September 2015. The manufacturing sub-sector followed with 4.3 per cent, while the mining and quarrying sub-sector recorded the lowest year-on-year inflation rate of -2.1 per cent.