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ICU pushes for low inflation to sustain jobs

Jan. 4, 2018, 1:48 p.m.

The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) has called on government to implement stringent measures that will further lower inflation in the country.

According to the ICU, this will ensure that employers are able to sustain jobs and also absorb some of the teeming unemployed youth in the country.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta during the 2018 budget presentation, announced that government is targeting a medium term (2018-2021) inflation rate of 8±2 percent, lower than the 11.2 percent targeted for 2017.

Speaking to Citi Business News, the General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Solomon Kotei said government needs to fulfill its promises including that of reducing inflation in 2018, since it had the whole of 2017 to plan and project.

“We see 2018 as a year that should come with fulfillment of governments’ promises. Inflation should remain where it is or better yet continue going down. This will make it possible for businesses to sustain jobs and employ more,” he stated.

Figures from the Ghana Statistical Service indicate that inflation has been on the decline since September 2016.

The figure has fallen from 17.2 percent in September 2016 to 11.7 percent as at November 2017.

The declining inflation trends come on the back of stable electricity supply coupled with tight policy stance, which has also largely accounted for the sustained stability in the local currency.

As part of projections for the 2018 fiscal year, the government has projected an average inflation rate of 9.8 percent and end year inflation of 8.9 percent for 2018.

In line with the medium-term policy objectives of the government, monetary policy is expected to continue to provide an anchor for inflation expectations and steer inflation towards the medium term target band of 8 ±2 percent.

While achieving this target can encourage savings and investments-as returns on investments are preserved, provision of a stable and reliable electricity supply, continuous stability of the Ghana cedi among others will be key.