Expect tougher times in 2023 first quarter – Prof Gatsi

An economist with the University of Cape Coast, Professor John Gatsi is predicting hard times in the first quarter of 2023.

He warned Ghanaians to brace themselves up for high prices of general goods as a result of the government’s “implementation of policies that have cost implications.”

Prof. Gatsi said inflation for the month of January is expected to rise above the December 2022 inflation rate of 54.1 percent.

Speaking to Umaru Sanda Amadu on Eyewitness News, Prof. Gatsi said “we expect inflation for January [2023] to inch up because of policy implications. We have pushed VAT up, we have enhanced the e-levy, and then we have also enhanced taxes at the port and all these things have cost implications and price development implications for the economy.”

He said the mentioned factors will further push the prices of general staples up, pushing down the purchasing power of Ghanaians.

The Ghana Statistical Service pegged inflation for December 2022 at 54.1 percent, up from 50.3 percent for November.

Prof Gatsi indicated that “until the major factors implemented to curtail high inflation start responding, and we import less, things are going to be difficult for the first quarter of 2023.”

He further stressed that though Ghana is close to securing an IMF loan facility, the euphoria, and misconception that things will soon get better is only a creation out of nothing to console Ghanaians.

“I don’t think there is anyone that expects that things will look good in the first quarter of 2023. Things will look rough and when the IMF deal is signed somewhere in April, then we will begin to see how things will look but as it is now, things do not imply that the economy will look good in the first quarter”.