Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ghana keeps rate on balanced risks to growth, inflation

    Ghana's central bank kept its policy rate steady at 15.0 percent, saying the risks to inflation and economic growth were fairly balanced and inflation is expected to remain within its projected band of 9.0 percent, plus/minus 2 percentage points by the end of 2013.
    The Bank of Ghana, which raised its rate by 250 basis points in 2012, said the major upside risks to inflation were the possible removals of utility and fuel subsidies, wage negotiations and balance of payments. Among the downside risks were the unwinding of fiscal imbalances, declining inflation expectations, global inflation and monetary growth.
    In January Ghana's inflation rate was stable at 8.8 percent from December, with a decline in inflation during the second half of 2012 due to lower food prices and tight monetary policy.
    The economic prospects for Ghana's economy have improved due to improved sentiment and optimism by business and consumers. Private sector credit growth is above trend and credit conditions have eased somewhat, the bank said.
    Ghana's Gross Domestic Product expanded by an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the third quarter, down from 2.5 percent in the second quarter and sharply below 8.7 percent in the first quarter


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