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Consumer Inflation Rises to New High in Ghana

FILE - Pedestrians walk in front of Ghana's central bank building in Accra, Ghana, Nov. 16, 2015.

Consumer inflation climbed to an annual 37.2% in September from 33.9% in August, the statistics service said Wednesday, hitting a 21-year peak despite aggressive policy tightening.

The central bank in Ghana has raised its lending rate by 10 percentage points since the start of the year in an attempt to hold back inflation and slow the cedi currency's rapid depreciation.

Prices of imported goods accelerated nearly 5% faster than domestic items and food prices saw the largest hikes.

Prices of drinking water rose 58.9%, and the category of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose 68.8%. Transport, which includes fuel, rose 46.8%.

The World Bank said last week that the cedi has been Africa's worst performing currency since the beginning of the year.

Refinitiv Eikon data showed that the cedi has lost around 40% of its value against the dollar in that time.

Net foreign reserves dwindled to around $2.7 billion in September from $6.1 billion in January, and the balance of payments deficit was just shy of $2.5 billion in the first half.

The Ghanaian government is in the early stages of negotiating a support package from the International Monetary Fund. The latest IMF mission to Ghana ended on Saturday.