- Ghana’s inflation fell to 18.1 percent in August from 18.3 percent in July, country's statistics agency said today.
According to state agency, rising global prices for food and fuel earlier in the year pushed inflation to near three-year highs. In July, the central bank increased its prime lending rate to 17 percent, citing rising inflation. The next rate decision is due in October, the Bank of Ghana said today.
Inflation surged to 18.4 percent in June, its highest level since January 2004 and way above the central bank's initial target range of 6-8 percent for 2008.
Head of economic statistics at Ghana Statistical Service Ebo Duncan said eased food crops availability during harvest had helped to ease food component of inflation, and he expected prices to fall again in September.
"We are in the harvest season and the expectation is that there will be a further easing in the inflation for next month, all things being equal," he said.
Ghana's financial authorities have repeatedly cited rising world oil prices as a major cause of inflation and imbalances in the economy, but, with fears growing of a global economic slow-down, oil prices have fallen back in recent weeks.
"Although still too early to say that inflation has peaked in any comprehensive sense, at least it seems to be moving in the right direction, albeit very slowly," said Razia Khan, head of Africa research at Standard Chartered in London.
She said stabilisation of the country's economy since Ghana Telecom was privatisatised, as well as decline in oil prices are further positives for the inflation outlook.
Inflation in the first half of 2008 was driven in part by an accelerated fall in Ghana's cedi currency, which lost 17 percent of its value against the dollar by July 31 before stabilising.
Analysts have said government's sale of a 70 percent stake in fixed-line monopoly and mobile operator Ghana Telecom to Britain's Vodafone Group for $900 million was a factor in the cedi's stabilisation.
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