In their response to Dr. Bawumia?s lecture on the state of the economy, The Acting Director of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has completely misrepresented what was actually stated by Dr. Bawumia in an apparent attempt to please her political masters.
There is an attempt to claim that Dr. Bawumia was presenting cumulative changes in prices as inflation. This is a fabrication or an attempt to mislead. Dr. Bawumia was categoric in stating that he was looking at the cost of living. He made the point that the cost of living had gone up significantly in Ghana and used some price changes as examples. The GSS cannot deny this.
Secondly Dr. Bawumia also noted that these cumulative price changes did not mean that single digit inflation was not possible. He notes that:
?I should add that these price changes do not necessarily mean that single digit inflation is not possible. It would depend on what is being measured and over what period. What we see of price increases for basic commodities in our markets over the last year is that they are increasingly volatile and definitely at rates beyond single digits?.
So why has the Acting Director GSS ignored this part of Dr. Bawumia?s statement? Dr. Bawumia?s noted further that the developments in prices of some common items, even within the last year (e.g. maize prices in Bolgatanga market which have risen by 60% between 2011 and 2012) appear inconsistent with single digit inflation. This assessment is not based on cumulative price changes. Attempts by the Acting Director of the GSS to misrepresent what Dr. Bawumia said are unfortunate.
In fact, Dr. Bawumia in his presentation was very careful not to question the integrity of the GSS. He stated:
?The key question that is on the minds of many Ghanaians is: ?Do we really have single-digit inflation in Ghana today?? While I do not want to argue with or question the integrity of our hard working officials at the Ghana Statistical Service who do a good job under very difficult circumstances, and should indeed be resourced (and given more independence) to do the work they do, I will like to state that the available evidence indicates that statistically reported single digit inflation is not consistent with the economic fundamentals and developments in some key economic indicators relating to the cost of living, interest rates and exchange rates. It could be a measurement issue, but the established relationships between inflation and key economic variables appear to have gone missing for now?.
This is by no means an attack on the Ghana Statistical service. Dr. Bawumia is pointing out that what the Statistical Service is capturing or measuring is not being reflected in price developments in our shops and markets and most people in Ghana cannot relate to the talk about single digit inflation when they get to the market.
So why has the Acting Director GSS ignored this part of Dr. Bawumia?s statement?
She should stop dabbling in partisan politics.