Ghana will have fewer goods at high prices during Christmas – GUTA warns
The Ghana Traders Association (GUTA) warns that Ghanaians could buy Christmas goods at much higher prices in December this year.
Goods, including food items such as cooking oil, rice, sugar, second-hand clothes and frozen foods, as well as non-food items such as Christmas trees, ribbons and balloons decoration are mainly imported by GUTA members.
Association President Dr. Joseph Obeng told the Ghana News Agency that if the government did not immediately address the depreciation of the Cedi, Ghanaians would buy their Christmas goods at high prices.
He said, “We should bring in as many goods as possible, but to tell the truth, our capital itself has dwindled. This means that it will also affect the trading volumes we do, especially in the last quarter of the year if the trend continues. »
“When the exchange rate goes up, inflation goes up, interest rates and all the trading indicators go up, it will definitely affect the final price, and then it will affect the end consumer who is already suffering,” he pointed out. .
Dr Obeng noted that the working capital of many members of GUTA, the apex body for traders in the country (importers and exporters), continued to be depleted due to the depreciation of the Cedi against the dollar amid high interest rates on loans.
The Chairman said: “One could recall that since December 2021, when the dollar was worth GHS 6.4, our working capital has depleted by 40%. Now that the dollar has reached GHS9, our worst fear is that we will now place Christmas orders with our suppliers, which could make the situation worse.
He said the import business had turned “gloomy and pathetic” as multinationals took over, and their efforts to start looking for goods to export to support the economy did not yield the desired result.
He therefore called on the government to amend the country’s investment law on overseas retail and wholesale trade to require multinationals to deposit their capital funds in Ghana for transfers.
“We believe that the government should have full control over the management of our national resources as well as the ability to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” Dr Obeng said.
Inflationary pressures and other factors have compounded the economic woes of Ghana, whose economy was once described by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the fastest growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa.
This prompted the government to engage in discussions with the IMF to support Ghana’s national economic program aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability, anchoring debt sustainability and promoting inclusive and sustainable growth.
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had said the government was determined to work hard to revive the economy.
The President said that with the measures put in place by the government, “I am confident that we will restart and revitalize the economy and put our nation back on the path of rapid economic growth.”