It is no surprise that the Ghanaian economy is extremely weak. It is so weak that it is on the verge of bankruptcy. Inflation remains very rampant, and the Ghanaian central bank, therefore, decided to do something about interest rates to mitigate the growth of inflation.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) is scheduled to announce its interest rate decision on Monday, September 25, 2023, amidst increasing pressure on the Ghanaian cedi. The cedi has lost over 20% of its value against the US dollar in the past year, making it one of the worst-performing currencies in Africa.
The BoG has raised interest rates several times in an effort to stem the Cedi's depreciation and bring inflation under control. However, these measures have had limited success. Inflation in Ghana is currently at a 20-year high of 37.2%.
The BoG is now facing a difficult choice. If it raises interest rates further, it could dampen economic growth. However, if it keeps interest rates unchanged or lowers them, it could lead to further depreciation of the cedi and higher inflation.
Economists are divided on what the BoG will do. Some believe that the BoG will raise interest rates by 100 basis points or more. Others believe that the BoG will keep interest rates unchanged or even lower them slightly.
The BoG's interest rate decision will be closely watched by investors and businesses in Ghana. A higher interest rate could make it more expensive for businesses to borrow money and invest, which could slow down economic growth. However, a higher interest rate could also make Ghanaian assets more attractive to foreign investors, which could help to support the cedi.
The BoG's decision will also have a significant impact on ordinary Ghanaians. A higher interest rate could make it more expensive for people to borrow money to buy homes or start businesses. However, a higher interest rate could also make it more attractive for people to save money, which could help to reduce inflation in the long term.
The United States, in the meantime, has maintained its interest rates at 5.25%-5.50%, and its indications suggest the possibility of further hikes. This had led to a strengthening of the U.S. Dollar, causing ripples in the global financial markets, including Ghana. Indeed, according to Business Insider Africa, Charles Mangin, head of FX trading at Crown Agents Bank, explains the significance of the strong U.S. Dollar for African countries. “The dollar is still the main currency used for international trade; therefore, a strong USD will affect the likes of imports prices and cost of servicing their foreign debt, for example.”
The BoG's interest rate decision is a difficult one, and it is unclear what the best course of action is. The BoG will need to weigh the risks and benefits of each option carefully before making a decision.