Ghana Inflation Hits with New 18-year Peak

Ghana’s inflation rose to 27.6% year on year in May, up from 23.6% in April, according to statistics agency figures released on Wednesday, marking a new 18-year high and a full year of faster price growth.

In a report by Bloomberg, it said the central bank of Africa’s second-largest gold and cocoa producer raised its primary interest rate in March and again last month in an attempt to slow rising prices, but it has yet to succeed.

Analysts warn of an impending financial catastrophe as the cedi currency has been under pressure, dropping approximately 5% versus the dollar since its close on May 9 and more than 21% since the beginning of the year.

Food, transportation, and housing drove up inflation in May, with imported items rising faster than locally produced goods for the second month in a row, according to the statistics office.

In May, food costs increased by 30.1 percent year over year, with the highest increases occurring in oils and fats, water, and cereal items.

Around a quarter of Ghana’s cereals were imported from Russia, which is embroiled in a conflict in Ukraine that has driven global commodity prices such as wheat and oil skyrocketing.

Transportation, which includes fuel, increased by 39.0%, while housing, which includes water, electricity, and gas, increased by 32.3 percent.

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