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New Base Year for Inflation Computation Next Year   
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The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) will from next year change its base year, which is the reference year used in calculating the indices of inflation to 2006 from the 2002 base year.

The new 2006 base year will include email/internet caf, mobile, phone, phone cards, CDs and CD player, bank service charges and personal insurance premiums payable.The rest are cost of internal and external airlines transport services, cost of private education services, that is fees and accommodation, house help and related service, as well as cost of decorative flowers and allied services.

Business Week learnt that the rebasing of the consumer price index (CPI) basket is currently initiated in order to take into account changes in consumption patterns of the population which has resulted from consumption of new products, reduction in consumption of obsolete products, changes in household income levels and adjustments in distribution of household expenditure.

The rebasing has become necessary due to the fact that markets and items in the CPI basket of goods were selected since 1997 which have been described as obsolete. Also some markets that were considered as rural in 1997 have now become urban, as well as the need to rebase the CPI to separate the Upper East and Upper West regions, which are currently combined.

The CPI measures the average percentage change of the general price levels in the country as experienced by consumers, with reference to the price levels in 2002. The yearly inflation is the percentage of change in the CPI over the 12-month period which the monthly inflation is the percentage change between the month in reference and the previous month.

Year on year inflation measured by the CPI dropped marginally to 18.37% for the 12-month period ended September 2009, from 19.65 recorded in August.The monthly rate of inflation in September 2009 was negative 1.46%, following the negative 0.68% recorded in August 2009.

Non-food inflation, which constitutes 55.09% of the CPI basket, dropped slightly to 22.38% for September 2009 from 23.25% recorded in August 2009. Food inflation dropped significantly to 12.78 for September 2009 from 14.75% recorded in August 2009.

Source: B. Week

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