Ghana hikes main rate by biggest ever amount

STORY: Ghana's central bank has delivered its biggest rate hike ever amid crippling inflation.

At an emergency meeting on Wednesday (Aug 17) to address the economy's rapid deterioration, the main lending rate was raised by 300 basis points to 22%.

The hike comes just three weeks after the Bank of Ghana's Monetary Policy Committee left the rate unchanged at 19% - saying it wanted to observe the impact of a series of record-breaking hikes.

Since then the cedi currency has continued its steep decline - losing more than 6% against the dollar on Wednesday alone, according to date from Refinitiv Eikon.

That brought total losses for 2022 to 39%.

Consumer inflation rose to 31.7% annually in July - its highest since 2003.

The government's top statistician has warned it's not possible to say whether inflation has peaked.

Having initially said it would not turn to the International Monetary Fund for help, Ghana is now in the early stages of negotiating a support package.

Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered, said the hike could help demonstrate that the West African country is committed to reaching a deal.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Monetary Police Committee partially blamed Ghana's current economic troubles on external factors including a strong dollar and tighter global financial conditions.