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Ghanaian inflation was unchanged in January, giving the central bank room to keep borrowing costs unchanged today.
The inflation rate stayed at 8.8 percent, Philomena Nyarko, an official at the Ghana Statistical Service told reporters in the capital, Accra today. Prices rose 2.1 percent in the month.
The central bank may keep its policy rate at 15 percent, according to four out of seven economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The rest forecast a cut of between a half and one percentage point. The central bank increased the key rate by 2.5 percentage points last year and boosted Treasury-bill sales to halt the cedi’s 14 percent slide in 2013.
While government spending probably increased before December’s election, “a lot of government disbursement did not take place,” easing pressure on inflation, Sampson Akligoh, head of research at Accra-based Databank Financial Services Ltd., said by phone before the release.
Ghana is aiming to narrow its budget deficit to 1.2 percent of gross domestic product in the first quarter. The shortfall reached 7.3 percent in the nine months through September 2012, according to the central bank.
An “imminent” increase in fuel prices may prompt the Bank of Ghana to hold its benchmark interest rate, Akligoh said. Acting Governor Kofi Wampah is scheduled to announce the decision at 11 a.m. local time.
West Africa’s second-biggest economy will spend 2.4 billion cedis ($1.3 billion) on fuel subsidies this year, NPA Chief Executive Officer Alexander Mould said on Feb. 11. The authority expects the government “to reduce or totally scrap” the caps, with the extra cost passed on to consumers, he said.
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