Government Statistician Dr. Philomena Nyarko this week expressed worry over the trend of rising utility prices as this has a drastic impact on the cost of living for households in the country.
In October 2013, government announced major hikes in electricity and water tariffs after more than a year of subsidies. The hikes were followed by increases in January and July, causing power and water tariffs to jump by 96 percent and 72 percent respectively over nine months.
“It will really impact on households. The tempo at which utilities are rising is worrying, and we are hoping that policies will be put in place to arrest the situation,” Dr. Nyarko said.
Utilities inflation surged to 56.9 percent in June she told a media conference in Accra while announcing the annualised producer price index (PPI) for last month.
She said annual producer inflation rose to a fresh four-year high of 33.1 percent, driven mainly by utility price increases.
The index has steadily increased this year after the government removed subsidies on power and water as part of measures to cut spending. The monthly inflation rate was 0.7 percent.
After utilities, mining and quarrying inflation was the next highest at 37.3 percent. The manufacturing sub-sector recorded an inflation rate of 27.1 percent.
Manufacturing recorded a monthly inflation rate of 0.8 percent while mining and quarrying recorded 0.7 percent. The utilities sub-sector recorded the lowest monthly rate of 0.2 percent.
Five out of the 16 major groups in the manufacturing sub-sector recorded inflation rates higher than the sector average of 27.1 percent.
Manufacture of machinery and equipment recorded the highest of 76 percent, while producer prices in the manufacture of wood and wood products recorded the lowest producer inflation rate of 2.3 percent over the one-year period.
Source: B & FT