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Ghana Inflation Rate Rose for Third Time in May as Cedi Fell

Inflation in Ghana accelerated for a third month in May as the local currency weakened and pushed up costs in West Africa’s second-biggest economy, increasing the likelihood that the central bank will raise its key rate today.

The rate advanced to 9.3 percent from 9.1 percent a month earlier, Philomena Nyarko, acting head of the Ghana Statistical Service, told reporters in Accra, the capital. Prices rose 2 percent in the month, she said.

The food inflation rate climbed to 5 percent and non-food prices were up 12 percent, Nyarko said. Inflation for imported food was 9.4 percent, an increase “attributable to the current exchange rate,” she said.

Ghana’s cedi has dropped 15 percent this year against the dollar, making it the worst in Africa after Malawi’s kwacha and pushing up prices in the import-dependent country, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The slumping cedi and its effect on consumer prices prompted the Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee to raise its key lending rate by 200 basis points since February. The central bank’s target for inflation this year is 8.5 percent, according to its website.

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