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Accra’s Economic Crisis Deepens

Ghana’s annual consumer inflation has accelerated to a new 21-year high of 50.3 percent in November, up from 40.4 percent the previous month, driven by utilities, food and fuel. On Tuesday, the West African nation secured a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $3bn, three-year support package. Ghana had approached the IMF in July to ask for financial help after soaring prices and economic hardship spurred street protests. The West African gold, oil and cocoa producer is battling its worst economic crisis in a generation. The local cedi currency is down around 40 percent against the dollar this year. It traded at all-time lows in November, before rallying in anticipation of the IMF deal. Government spending cuts and several central bank interest rate hikes have so far failed to tame inflation.