By Fred Yaw Sarpong
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) will re-base the items in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to reflect the current expenditure of Ghanaians. The re-base is to increase the items in the basket from its current state. The CPI measures Ghana’s inflationary rate.
In an interview with Mr. Asuo Afram, the acting Head of National Account at the GSS said the re-basing means that they want to let the inflation reflect the current expenditure. ‘Current expenditure means what goods and services do people buy now,’ he added.
He stated that the current re-basing was done in 2002 and previously ICT equipment or even mobile phones were not included, ‘so the mobile phone or ICT effect in the CPI basket is very low,’ adding that they are going to increase it now and that is the essence of the re-basing.
This is to bring in all items which are currently been consume so in that case the CPI will be able to reflect what is going on now in the country.
‘If we don’t re-base the CPI basket, some items effect in the basket will not be known. Example is the mobile phones. The re-base will increase it so that all the indices will be improved,’ said Afram.
The re-basing will base on the expenditure survey conducted by GSS between 2005 and 2006 and the base year will be 2012, which make it more current than the one currently been used now. According to him not only is GSS changing the basket but also changing the base year from 2002 to 2012.
The new basket will also take into consideration internal air transport and restaurants in the country.
According to GSS, the prices of these services have increase tremendously but it has not reflected in the CPI basket. ‘So we bringing on board air transport which fare frequently changes as well as restaurants.
‘According to our gross domestic product (CPI) all these sectors have been improved and their services are going up. All these are going to be compute into the new basket,’ Afran added.
The current CPI basket has 242 items and the re-basing will increase the items to 267.
Meanwhile, announcing the April 2013 inflation last week, Mr. Baah Wadieh, the Acting Deputy Government Statistician said the year-on-year inflation rate for April 2013 was 10.6%, up from 10.4% recorded in March, this year. This is the highest since June 2010.
This means that the general price level went up by 10.6% over the one year period from April 2012 to April 2013.
The monthly change rate for April 2013 was 1.8%. This means that the general price level went up by 1.8% for the one month period between March 2013 and April 2013. The monthly rate for March 2013 was 1.7%.
Mr. Wadieh stated that the year-on-year non-food inflation rate was 13.0%. The rate for March 2013 was 13.2%.
The year-on-year food inflation rate was 6.4%, up from 5.5% rate recorded for March 2013. Thus year-on-year non-food inflation rate was about twice than that of the food inflation rate.
He indicated that the main drivers of the non-food inflation rate were miscellaneous goods and services 15.6%, transport 14.7%, education 14.1%, clothing and footwear 14.1%, housing, water, electricity, gas and other utilities 13.5%, and alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics 13.4%.
Meanwhile, mineral water, soft drinks and juices 16.8%; milk, cheese and eggs 15.4%; sugar, jam, honey, syrups, chocolate and confectionary 11.4%; coffee, tea and cocoa 11.3%, oil and fats 10.9% , meat 9.9%; bread and cereals 7.0%, and food products 6.8% were the main drivers that pushed food inflation to 6.4%.
Greater Accra recorded the highest inflation rate of 15.6% while Western region had the lowest rate of 8.5%. Other regional inflation rates were Ashanti 10.7%; Volta 10.7%, Brong Ahafo 9.9%, Eastern 9.8%, Central 9.8%, Northern 9.6%; and Upper East and Upper West 8.5%.