ACCRA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Ghana recorded a 10.0 percent year- on-year inflation in February 2013 against the 8.8 percent recorded the previous month, thereby halting its 32-month single digit record, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) said here on Wednesday.
Acting Government Statistician Philomena Nyarko (Ph.D) said at a regular press briefing the monthly change rate for February was also 2.6 percent, compared with the 2.1 percent for January.
Food inflation rose 1.4 percentage points to record 5.3 percent, compared with the 3. 9 percent for January, while non-food inflation recorded 12.6 percent, compared with the 11.5 percent recorded previously.
"Price drivers for the food inflation were mineral water, soft drinks and juices at 15.7 percent; milk, cheese and eggs at 15.3 percent; coffee, tea and cocoa at 11.6 percent; and meat at 10.9 percent, Nyarko added.
She said price drivers for non-food inflation were the alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics at 15 .9 percent; transport at 15.8 percent; and housing water, electricity, gas and other utilities at 15.5 percent.
While the Northern Region recorded the highest inflation in regional differentials at 12.0 percent, the Western Region recorded the lowest at 7.4 percent.
Nyarko conceded that the recent petroleum tariff increment as a result of the removal of subsidies had contributed to the increase in transportation costs and other associated services, such as housing and gas, leading to the upsurge in inflation for the month under review.
She however added that food prices had also gone up since the country was in the planting (lean) season, driving up local food prices.
"This is the highest inflation figure we have recorded since June 2010, with government setting an end period inflation target of 9.0 percent and an average inflation target of 8.9 percent."
Collins Appiah, analyst and Head of Asset Management at NDK Financial Services, said the higher cost of fuel and food aside, the reported budget deficit of 12 percent was also a contributing factor to the surge in inflation.
"This means more money has been injected into the system, thus taking its toll on inflationary trends," he said.
Appiah however believed that, all things being equal, the rate would remain around the 10 percent region in the next few months, needing deliberate fiscal and monetary action to contain the upsurge.
"Government must reduce spending and be prudent in the way it spends; the more you spend, the more money that gets into the hands of people to go into the market to spend, causing upsurge in money supply," he said in an interview with Xinhua.
He also called on the Bank of Ghana to take another look at its Broad Money Supply (M2+), raise its policy rate, and institute deliberate policies to mop up excess liquidity in the market.