Ghana Inflation at Five-Year Low Opens Room to Resume Rate Cuts

(Bloomberg) -- Inflation in Ghana slowed to the lowest in at least five years, giving the central bank room to resume rate cuts.

Consumer prices rose 10.3 percent in January from a year ago compared with annual growth of 11.8 percent in December, Baah Wadieh, acting government statistician at the Ghana Statistical Services, told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Accra. The rate is the slowest since January 2013, according to the agency’s data.

Ghana Inflation at Five-Year Low Opens Room to Resume Rate Cuts

The Bank of Ghana kept its benchmark interest rate at 20 percent in January after consumer prices didn’t slow as quickly as it anticipated toward the target of 6 percent to 10 percent.

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“The drop in inflation partly reflected base effects from an increase in energy sector levies in January 2017 and price growth may ease into the target range in March and April.”

Mark Bohlund, Bloomberg Economics

“The drop is bigger than what we’re expecting,” Yvonne Mhango, an economist at Renaissance Capital in Johannesburg, said by phone. “It gives the central bank scope to cut interest rates at its next meeting.” RenCap forecasts a cut of 50 to 100 basis points when the monetary policy committee meets in March, she said.

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