Ghana's consumer inflation hits 'shocking' 23.6%

STORY: Ghana's consumer price inflation accelerated to 23.6% year-on-year in April, the statistics service said on Wednesday (May 11).

That's up from 19.4% in March in a recent record that one economist described as "shocking".

Razia Khan, Standard Chartered Bank's chief economist for Africa and the Middle East, said the spike may pressure the central bank to further tighten interest rates.

She added that "failure to act soon could have far-reaching implications, putting at risk any hopes for quick macroeconomic stabilization."

The West African country's central bank raised its main lending rate by a record 250 basis points in March.

Fearing that runaway inflation, compounded by a depreciating local currency and mounting national debt, could ignite a full-blown economic crisis.

The latest inflation reading was the highest in 18 years and more than double the government's targeted band of 6% to 10%.

Prices for 295 of the 307 items analyzed by the statistics service rose in April.

Transport including fuel prices saw the largest increases up to 33.5% from 17.4% in March.

Diesel costs alone up 90.9%.

Food prices were up 26.6% from the previous month.

That's nearly double the category's 12-month average of 13.5%.

Cereal prices were among the greatest contributors, continuing a trend that began with Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, which Moscow calls a "special military operation".

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