Ghana's consumer inflation slowed slightly to 53.6% year-on-year in January from a more than two-decade high of 54.1% in the previous month, data showed on Wednesday, marking the first month that inflation has slowed since May 2021.
The country is reckoning with its worst economic crisis in a generation as capital outflows, a crushing debt-service burden and rapid currency depreciation wreak havoc on government and household finances.
Ghana's central bank has hiked lending rates by 13.5 percentage points since early last year in an effort to contain price rises.
Food inflation was up slightly to 61.0% in January, while non-food inflation was down to 47.9%, Ghana Statistical Service figures showed, with food and non-alcoholic beverages the category that contributed the most to overall inflation.
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The gap between local and imported inflation narrowed in January, compared with the previous month, with prices up 62.5% for imported items and 50.0% for locally produced goods.
"This suggests that the variation in the exchange rate may have contributed to the marginal drop in inflation we saw in January 2023, though we are yet to do a robust analysis," government statistician Samuel Kobina Annim told reporters.
The cedi was highly volatile in December, gaining about 50% against the dollar in a matter of days around the time the country reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $3 billion rescue package, after steep falls earlier in the year.
In January the cedi retraced some of December's gains.
Ghana on Tuesday announced the closure of a long-delayed domestic debt exchange plan, but it must now restructure its external debts before getting IMF executive board approval for the rescue package.