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Business News of Friday, 4 April 2014

Source: GNA

Central bank survey shows decline

The latest survey conducted by the Bank of Ghana showed softening business and consumer sentiments due to increases in utility and fuel price hikes in the country.

Dr Kofi Henry Wampah, the BoG Governor, said businesses were also less optimistic about achieving targets for capital outlay, employment, sales and revenue.

He said since the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) round, pressures from the exchange rate depreciation, fiscal strains and the pass through effects of fuel and utility price adjustments had persisted, heightening inflation expectations.

Dr Wampah, who spoke on Wednesday during the monthly MPC press briefing in Accra, said headline inflation rose to 14.0 percent in February 2014 from 13.8 per cent in January, drifting further away from the target band of 9.52 per cent.

He said on growth, the updated Composite Index of Economic Activity suggests a relative pickup in economic activity in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The Governor said even though the pace of general economic activity slowed down relative to the previous year, the index grew by 6.8 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter compared with a growth of 8.2 per cent for the same period in 2012.

He said the main drivers were Port activity, Discounted Mortgage-Backed Security (DMBs) credit to the private sector, Domestic VAT, Exports, and Sales of key manufacturing companies.